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Parliament Approves More Cabinet Ministers

Those who were confirmed on Tuesday by the committee chaired by Deputy Speaker Anita Among are Chris Baryomunsi, the Minister of Information, Communications, Technology and National Guidance, Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Maria Goretti Kitutu, the Minister for Karamoja Affairs.
Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries addresses journalists after appearing before the Appointments Committee. Photo by Olive Nakatudde

Audio 5

Parliament’s Appointments Committee has approved more Ministers recently appointed by President Yoweri Museveni.

Those who were confirmed on Tuesday by the committee chaired by Deputy Speaker Anita Among are Chris Baryomunsi, the Minister of Information, Communications, Technology and National Guidance, Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Maria Goretti Kitutu, the Minister for Karamoja Affairs.

The others are Ruth Nankabirwa, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Vincent Ssempijja Bamulangaki, the Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs, Betty Amongi Ongom, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development and others.

Parliament kicked off the vetting process on Monday with the approval of the Vice President Jessica Alupo and Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja in the House.  The vetting process is expected to be concluded at the end of the week.

Tumwebaze said that he will sensitize Ugandans to double their utilization capacity of arable land so that the country’s yields go up.

“It was very brief, I availed whatever documents the committee wanted and they wished me good luck. Agriculture is a universal sector that employs many people both directly and indirectly. If you look at Uganda, it has a land size of 241,000Sq miles, of that land area, 81.8% is arable land meaning it can be cultivated. Out of the arable land, only 35% is utilized. So my big task is to whip the country and mobilize people to put land to use,” said Tumwebaze.

He also says that he is to ensure that disease control is a priority that needs to be fought holistically.

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Ruth Nankabirwa, the new Minister of Energy said that she is to ensure that government programmes under her Ministry are fulfilled.

“I know that free connection policy is a commitment, we put it in our manifesto and therefore I will make sure the counterpart funding is available because the free connection isn’t completely free because the government has to find funding for the connections. So all the commitments in my sector aren’t personal, these are government programmes,” said Nankabirwa.

She also committed to building on the foundation laid by her predecessors to ensure that Ugandans see the first oil and money from different minerals.

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Mary Goretti Kitutu, the Minister for Karamoja Affairs said that she had worked in the region before and that she will deliver beyond the expectations of the people of Karamoja.

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Chris Baryomunsi, the Minister of Information said that he will ensure that the policies of government are known by Ugandans and also empower different workers in different sectors to ensure they communicate to the public what government does.

“Sometimes there is a gap in communicating what government does. We want to expand digital space because technology is driving different spaces. We must see that we create an environment so that we afford internet access. We shall teach and encourage Ugandans to be patriotic and ideologically aligned even if we have different political parties,” he added.

Regarding the government’s tax on the internet, Baryomunsi said that this was important because the country has to raise local revenue. He however noted that government shall constantly examine tax proposals to see that they are no impediments to any form of service. 

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Vincent Ssempijja, the Minister of Defence said that he is to support President Museveni push for the welfare of the army.

“I have been part of the struggle. I have had military training giving me a good background. I will support Museveni in pushing for the welfare of the army and ensure that the Uganda People’s Defence Forces -UPDF is a productive and pro-people army,” said Ssempijja.

He also told journalists that he will ensure that the disagreements between the army and the fishing communities are handled amicably.

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More ministers including Kahinda Otafire, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, Judith Nabakooba, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and others were yet to be approved by the committee.