President Yoweri Museveni’s 81-man cabinet, which was sworn in this week at State House Entebbe, continues to dominate hot topics of discussion.
It is the largest ever in Uganda’s history, according to political analysts.
Compared to Uganda’s first 1962 post-independence cabinet which had about 16 ministers, Museveni’s 2016 cabinet is simply put, a forest of ministers.
Some opposition political activists even compared it with that of Untied States of America that has about 25 officials.
“Uganda’s Gross Domestic Product [GDP] is estimated at $27bn with a national budget of about $26bn while America’s GDP is $18tn with a Federal budget,” wrote a concerned citizen yet the cabinet comparison is alarming.
According to opposition, most of Museveni’s ministers were appointed as an appeasement for supporting him during the 2016 elections.
East African Legislative Assembly member Fred Mukasa Mbidde says Museveni named a huge ineffective cabinet that will help him stand and sail through in 2021 elections.
Speaking at the swearing in of ministers on Tuesday, Museveni said he made a bigger cabinet so as to include opposition officials and form a government of national unity.
Appearing on NBS TV Thursday, lawyer and activist Andrew Karamagi said a government of national unity is not formed by simply picking a few opposition figures here and there.
“President Museveni’s appointment of opposition figures as ministers is co-optation or “buying off of some people”.”
He said Parliament itself has been emasculated to a point of passing a bigger Cabinet without questioning the executive.
“We are in a situation of business unusual. If the politics is not working, a lot of things will not work. Unless we correct our politics, we can’t move on to the things we aspire to achieve.”
He added: “We saw yesterday; state has no case against Besigye in ‘disobedience of lawful orders’ case. I am not going to call this a government. The Constitution is in abeyance. No one can predict the future.”