Saturday May 31 2014

If I were Museveni, I would reduce Cabinet to 22 members

By Asuman Bisiika

There is an unconfirmed rumour doing the rounds that a Cabinet reshuffle is imminent. Well, President Museveni has the powers to hire and fire Cabinet members.
However, if I were Mr Museveni, I would first re-organise the cabinet to suit the exacting administrative and managerial demands of the time (of course with any eye on 2016 elections).

This Cabinet re-organisation is based on my assumption that President Museveni is likely to win the 2016 elections. And that his next term of office will be his last. I would have only 21 (yes, only 22 including the President) positions designated as Cabinet ministers and 24 positions designated as Ministers of State.

It is a working Cabinet, not a club of cronies. No regional balance accompanied by tribal calculus, no ministries like Luweero, Karamoja, Rwenzori, Teso, etc. Honestly these ministries can be managed by commissions or desks in the appropriate ministries or special funds through the local governments.

The Cabinet so far:
1. President of the republic and head of state.
Responsibilities: Traditional constitutional duties.
2. Vice President
Responsibilities: Deputise the President, head of government business, any other assignments from the President, etc.

3. Prime Minister
Responsibilities: Responsible for government’s parliamentary Business and Kampala Capital City Authority.

4. Minister for the Presidency, Public Service and Cabinet affairs
Responsibilities: State House, all administrative functions of the President (like appointments).

5. Minister for Internal Affairs and National Security
Responsibilities: Supervise the Uganda Police Force, Civil Security Agencies (ISO &ESO) and Uganda Prisons Service. ISO & ESO would be under a national agency called National Security Agency. The head of the National Security Agency would be of equal protocol rank to Inspector General of Police.

6. Ministry of Defence and Territorial Integrity
Responsibilities: Traditional role.
7. Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs
Responsibilities: Traditional role, portfolio to be held by the Attorney General.
8. Foreign Service and International Co-operation
Responsibilities: Traditional role.

9. Finance, Planning and Economic Development
Responsibilities: Traditional role.
10. Ministry of Information, Civic Education and Communication Technology
Responsibilities: Official government spokesperson, supervises (the yet to be created) National Policy Information Centre (to replace Uganda Media Centre), supervises National Communications Commission, government media outlets like newspapers, magazines, radio and TV and National Civic Education Centre at Kyankwanzi.

11. Ministry of Energy, Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas
Responsibilities: Supervise the development of the oil and gas industry, mining industry, power, rural electrification, etc.
12 Ministry of Commerce.
Responsibilities: Industry, trade and investment.
13 Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Co-operatives and Marketing
Responsibilities: All the factors of rural production rolled in ministry to monetise the rural economy.
14. Ministry of Water and Fisheries
Responsibilities: Management of water bodies and the fisheries industry.
15. Ministry of Lower Education and Vocational Training
Responsibilities: Nursery and Primary school education, secondary school education and vocational Training (all of them free).

16. Ministry of Higher Learning, Science and Technology
Responsibilities: Supervise institutions of higher learning (offering diplomas and degrees) and the National Council of Science and Technology.
17. Ministry of Health
Responsibilities: Traditional role.
18. Ministry of Local Governments
Responsibilities: Supervise regional governments (regional tier, if it ever comes), District and sub county local governments (LC IV and LC III), Urban Local Governments (Town and Municipal Councils).

19. Ministry of Culture and Community Development
Responsibilities: Sports, youth, gender, cultural and traditional leaders, non-partisan community leadership at village (LC I) and parish (LCII), equal opportunities commission.

20. Ministry of Public Works, Transport, Housing and Urban Development
Responsibilities: Roads, air and marine transport, urban development and housing.
21. Ministry of Labour and Skills Development
Responsibilities: Traditional role of the department of labour, strategic skills development and export of labour to foreign countries.

22. Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife Resources
Supervision of Ugandan Wildlife Authority, forestry, environmental protection and the tourism sector.

Mr Bisiika is the executive editor of East Africa Flagpost.