Kampala- President Museveni has sent State Investment Minister, Ms Evelyn Anite, to Tufts University, a premier American university, for graduate studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
The minister enrolled on the Global Master of Arts Programme in International Law and Diplomacy in January, this year, shortly after Parliament amended the Constitution to scrap the presidential age limit.
Ms Anite, who was a lead campaigner for scrapping the age limit, told this newspaper yesterday that President Museveni is meeting the course’s entire $90,000 (Shs342m) bill.
“It’s a one-year course fully-paid [for] by the President,” she said. It is unclear if the President is financing the study from personal resources or under State House-run scholarship programme.
Minister Anite, also the Koboko Municipality Member of Parliament, has in two separate letters -- one to the President and another to the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga -- sought permission to be excused from executive and legislative duties.
“The purpose of this letter is to inform you and request for permission to take my annual leave to enable me attend class for my [Masters degree programme],” she noted in the June 28, 2018 letter.
Ms Anite added: “During my absence, Mr David Bahati, the minister of State for Planning and Economic Development, will hold my portfolio.”
News of Ms Anite’s hand over of office to her colleague, Mr Bahati, sparked rumour on social media and other online platforms that she had resigned.
In another letter authored on the same date, Ms Anite relayed a similar request to Speaker Kadaga.
The notification to the Speaker, sources say, is important to cushion the minister against disciplinary action.
The Rules of Procedure of the House empower the Speaker to subject an MP who misses 15 consecutive sessions, without the Speaker’s authorisation, to disciplinary proceedings.