Delegate asks Museveni to explain sectarianism

Thursday January 14 2010

SO ATTENTIVE: A cross section of NRM National

SO ATTENTIVE: A cross section of NRM National Executive Council members, some of whom are ministers. Photo by Geoffrey Sseruyange 

By Mercy Nalugo & Sheila Naturinda

President Museveni on Tuesday laboured to explain accusations directed at him on why most of the influential positions are occupied by his tribesmen and why “all the country’s resources” are being channeled to western Uganda.
In a session which the President chaired during a three- day NRM National Executive Council meeting in Entebbe, an NRM mobiliser from Adjumani District, asked him to explain why most of the top jobs are occupied by people from the western region.
According to a source, who attended yesterday’s afternoon session but who is not authorised to speak on behalf of the party, the elderly woman popularly known as Mama Kaba while reacting to President Museveni’s keynote address accused him of promoting sectarianism.
“The elderly woman asked the President to explain why most of the key positions in Cabinet belong to people from the same region. She said many ministers are from the western region and better resources are in the same region,” the source narrated to Daily Monitor.
President Museveni defended the appointments, saying politics is not intended to create jobs for people but to achieve for their parties politically.
He explained that some of his ministers participated in the NRM struggle that liberated the country and automatically assumed their senior positions.
He accused the delegates from other regions of failing his appointments.
“Whenever I try to promote people from other regions, it is you the voters who pull them down,” he reportedly said as he cited examples of former ministers; Moses Ali, Akaki Jovino, Mike Mukula and Betty Aketch.
It took the President about an hour, according to a source, to explain the appointments where he said people misunderstand western Uganda to only mean Ankole.

Wide area
“Western Uganda is big and starts from Karuma up to Kabale. It is occupied by the Banyankole, Bakiga and the Batoro,” he reportedly said.
In 2007, the NRM Vice Chairman for Eastern Uganda, Mr Mike Mukula, told President Museveni that the imbalances in appointments had failed his attempts to sell the NRM party in eastern Uganda.
According to the available records, western has the biggest share of political appointments in the country ranging from Cabinet to grassroots appointments.
Cabinet comprises 69 ministers with 28 full Cabinet ministers 13 of whom are from western Uganda. The Central region has eight, Eastern Uganda five, and the North two full cabinet ministers.
President Museveni had earlier said he would not tolerate anyone propagating sectarianism.