Kabwegyere Thrown Out of Appointments Committee

1789 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The Parliamentary appointments committee on Monday threw out Professor Tarsis Kabwegyere, the newly appointed minister for gender, labour and social development.

The Parliamentary appointments committee on Monday threw out Professor Tarsis Kabwegyere, the newly appointed minister for gender, labour and social development.

Kabwegyere is among the new ministers announced in a cabinet reshuffle by President Yoweri Museveni a week ago.

Kabwegyere had appeared before the committee chaired by the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga for vetting but spent only three minutes and was asked to leave.

Kabwegyere who was the second to appear before the committee after Frank Tumwebaze was told to wait until the committee seeks a clarification from the President.

 While walking out of the committee, the professor of sociology told reporters that he would be considered after clarification from the President. The committee reportedly told him to get back to them after four days.

But sources within the appointments committee told Uganda Radio Network that a number of reasons have been brought up, which might affect Kabwegyere’s chances of returning to cabinet. Some of the reasons, according to the source, are that he is of advanced age to run a demanding ministry like that of Gender.

The source further said that Parliament has been receiving petitions from women activists saying that Kabwegyere is not fit to head the Gender ministry because he has not been supportive of women’s issues. The activists reportedly cited his record on the debate on the Domestic Relations Bill, later changed to Marriage and Divorce Bill, in which he did not come up with a position.
 
The 71-year-old scholar-turned politician served as minister for Lands and Natural Resources in the post-Iddi Amin government from 1979 to 1980. In the Museveni government, Kabwegyere has served as minister of state for foreign affairs from 1987 to 1991. His immediate last cabinet assignment was minister for disaster preparedness from 2006 to 2011.
 
The other ministers who have appeared before the committee include Frank Tumwebaze for the Presidency, Ernest Kiiza for Bunyoro Affairs and Gabriel Ajedra, the new state minister for investment. Others are Richard Todwong, Minister without Portfolio, Sarah Kataike for Primary Health Care, Shem Bageine for East African Community Affairs and Aidah Nantaba, who is designated for minister of state for lands.

 The committee requires the candidates to come along with their academic documents as a requirement for their endorsement.

Other requirements include personal integrity, personality and previous working experience. In 2011,  individuals like Margret Mbeiza, Nasser Ntege Ssebagala and James Kakooza were rejected on academic and personality grounds.