The parliamentary Appointment’s Committee is set to vet Vice President together with the Prime Minister ahead of the release of a new Cabinet following President Museveni’s release of names for approval .
According to sources at Parliament, President Museveni sent names of the two nominees for vetting and approval by the appointment’s committee in the due course of this week or after.
Pearl Post is also privy to information that indeed, the President had the two names last week and has been tight lipped on the matter.
However, he has been harassed by the NRM Caucus to have the Cabinet released and bring forth the two names while he makes up his mind on the rest.
During the NRM Caucus at Kololo yesterday, many members have been demanding that their fate be made clear regarding whether they will be ministers and if not, let Museveni make clear who the Prime Minister and VP is, so that opens up parliamentary business and appointments on committees.
“We wanted him to name the Vice President and Prime Minister, and that is all we have been pushing for, but he has proven cumbersome,” a Member of Parliament intimated to Pearl Post.
“We hear that he has instead passed the names onto the appointment’s committee, so that they first handle the business of the proposed expansion of the cabinet, then we can have the cabinet.”
The NRM parliamentary caucus passed a resolution supporting President Museveni to increase the number of ministers from 21 as required by the Constitution to 29 and 51 state ministers meaning that the new cabinet will have 80 members in total.
The President on Monday afternoon told the ruling NRM party caucus meeting that Cabinet is ready but asked the MPs to approve the two names for Vice President and Prime Minister.
“I want to request you honourable members to unanimously approve the Vice President and Prime Minister once their names are brought to the House,” Museveni said at Kololo independence grounds.
This automatically rules out the possibility of a cabinet soon, but rather places Museveni under pressure to provide the country with a Prime Minister and Vice President.
After the caucus meeting, sources indicate that Museveni endorsed his nominees who include the Party’s Secretary General Kasule Lumumba, being proposed among those for Vice President, a position earlier earmarked for former Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga.
It is reported that Kadaga was given the position but said would only take it, if it came with another ministry annexed, probably the government chief whip, something Museveni was not willing to offer.
Kadaga in her suggestion had earlier also claimed that being a Vice President is passive, and she did not want to be under some other person’s armpits, hence a position of influence would be Prime Minister.
However, given the working relations already with Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, that would cause enough friction at doing government business.
Commenting about this, President Museveni reiterated during the caucus that the rumor that some people intend to make others feel lesser in the party is unreliable, and that “I will personally make sure no one feels belittled in the party.”
The matter of Kadaga became further complex owing to the fact that the chief whip position she wants annexed to the Vice Presidency had already been promised to MP Thomas Tayebwa if deep throat sources are to go by.
It is said this will be a reward for his decision to withdraw from the Deputy Speaker race in favor of Anita Among.
Again commenting on the matter yesterday, Museveni thanked members of the caucus for behaving so well in the recently concluded speaker elections.
Museveni reserved more kudos for the position of Deputy Speaker where he said that “Politics is not about what one wants, but what has been agreed by everyone.”
Museveni’s comments were in light of the decision by Tayebwa to step down and galvanise support for Among who trounced her Male Competition by garnering 415 votes.
The same comments were in line with his acknowledgement of Tayebwa’s team work, by choosing to forego his interests for the benefit of the party’s position unlike Kadaga. Hence, in order to make Tayebwa happy, it would be unlikely that Museveni would make Kadaga speaker with her demands.
President Museveni has been stuck with the position, having Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda who on one side has requested to be let go and Amama Mbabazi who wants in.
While the position has been vetted and Mbabazi a close contender, a later suggestion propped up to have the former Premier seconded as the Attorney General in replacement of William Byaruhanga who makes way.
The position however remains recalled by Museveni on the last minute and instead sources say for the time being, the VP or any member of the caucus particularly Margaret Muhanga who acts as the spokesperson will help handle the government business in parliament until the agenda to endorse an expansion of cabinet is adopted.
Sources say that Muhanga herself is also apparently assured of a ministry
Initial suggestions had brought forward the State House Comptroller, Lucy Mbonye Nakyobe to handle the docket but another source in the office of the Speaker of Parliament privy to the matter could not confirm the name had been sent in.
The speaker is the chairperson of the appointment’s committee of parliament.
Commenting about the proposed cabinet list on social media, MP Muhanga on Monday evening said the list will be out by Sunday evening.
“However, by the end of the week, we shall have the VP and PM(all new names),”Muhanga tweeted quoting her fly on the walls of State House.