Parliament Approves Increase in Number of Ministers

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In short
Some of the new portfolios created include the cabinet Minister for Kampala, the Minister in charge of Science, Technology and Innovation, Minister for Karamoja Affairs and the Minister for Information, ICT and Communications. These were previously state portfolios under the presidents office and Office of the Prime Minister.

Parliament has approved a motion to increase the number of ministers.

Article 113 (2) of the 1995 constitution provides that the total number of cabinet ministers shall not exceed 21 except with the approval of parliament.  However, in his newly appointed cabinet, President Museveni named up to 31 cabinet ministers and 49 state ministers bringing the cabinet to 80 members.

The approval followed a petition by Kiboga Woman MP Ruth Nankabirwa calling for the approval of  new portfolios in cabinet amid protests from members of the opposition.

Some of the new portfolios created include the cabinet Minister for Kampala, the Minister in charge of Science, Technology and Innovation, Minister for Karamoja Affairs and the Minister for Information, ICT and Communications. These were previously state portfolios under the president's office and Office of the Prime Minister.

Also created were positions for the State Minister for Kampala Capital City, Minister of State for Cooperatives, Minister of State for Veteran Affairs and Minister of State for East African Affairs. The posts are pending parliamentary approval.

In her justification, Nankabirwa says the increment in number of ministers is aimed at making especially the independent ministries more efficient and ease supervision of government programmes.
 
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However, several legislators from the opposition, including Winnie Kiiza, Leader of Opposition rejected this, noting that some of the previous cabinet ministers failed to execute their mandate.
 
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Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga also noted that having a bigger cabinet is not only a waste of public resources but does not equate to efficiency in service delivery.
 
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But embattled Busiro South MP, Peter Sematimba says the creation of key ministries such as that of Science, Technology and Innovation will contribute to government's vision 2020 to boost the economy to a middle income status.
 
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Pader Woman MP Lowila Oketayot supported the motion but tasked government to increase supervision of its programmes.
 
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Kasambya County MP, Mbwatekamwa Gaffa suggested that an audit is conducted on ministries with less ministers and comparison made on their efficiency to those with more ministers.
 
However, the majority of legislators, majorly from the NRM side voted for the motion.

 

About the author

Olive Eyotaru
Olive Eyotaru is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Eyotaru has been a URN staff member since February 2015.

Eyotaru started practising journalism while still studying at Uganda Christian University. She was a reporter with Ultimate Media Consult Ltd between 2005 and 2007.

In 2009, Eyotaru joined Monitor Publications Limited, under KFM Radio as a parliamentary and business reporter. Consequently, Eyotaru started writing for the Daily Monitor newspaper until January 2015, when she moved to URN.

She is interested in reporting about politics, health, human rights, business and sports.