President Museveni yesterday told the National Resistance Movement party caucus that the Cabinet list was ready and he would start the announcement with Vice President and Prime Minister. The MPs approved the President’s request to add one additional state minister position to increase the number of ministers to 80.
Ms Agnes Apea
A first-time Member of Parliament representing Amolatar District on the National Resistance Movement political party ticket, Ms Apea is a social entrepreneur and politician.
She is founder of Hope Development Initiative which supports female farmers in northern Uganda to move them into commercial agriculture. And that level. She has accumulated experience working with ordinary citizens and local governments, making her a good fit for the Local Government ministry docket where last-mile service delivery is core as she has proven.
Nicknamed in the region as “Mama Rice,” she was named in the BBC’s 100 Women programme in 2017 for her transformational work. Already the chairperson of the Local Government Finance Commission, Ms Apea, has a high reputation and field experience solving local problems using local solutions, and has been a frontline promoter of rice-growing and women’s participation across Uganda.
Ms Justice Lumumba
The current Secretary-General for National Resistance Movement (NRM) political party, Ms Lumumba was born in 1972 in Bugiri District. She graduated from Makerere University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts and a concurrent Diploma in Education in 1996.
She taught for a year, move the next year to act as District Inspector of Schools for Bugiri and was rapidly promoted to a Senior Education Officer from where she dived into politics at the turn of the millennium.
In 2001, she was elected on NRM ticket to serve as the Bugiri District Woman MP where she kept winning until 2014 when she resigned to take up the job of NRM secretary general from her predecessor, Amama Mbabazi.
Sources familiar with the Cabinet listing say some insiders are opposed to tapping her as PM because it would complicate and polarise politics of Busoga where deposed Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga is her rival.
Ms Lucy Nakyobe
Demonstrably loyal to the President to the dot and immersed in executive leadership, Ms Nakyobe fits the bill for Vice President because she additionally is a Catholic from the central region of the outgoing VP Edward Ssekandi.
President Museveni also lost Buganda in the January election to the youngster National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine.
Thus, tapping Ms Nakyobe to occupy the second highest office in the land carries a symbolic value that Buganda is not being short-changed or punished for its electoral rebellion, making President Museveni a magnanimous leader.
She has served as the State House comptroller or accounting officer since 2010. Ms Nakyobe graduated from Makerere University in 1990 with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences.
She worked as a research assistant on the behavioural risk studies among Baganda women under Case Western Reserve University/Makerere University collaborative research project and from 1990- 1991 where she was the Assistant Secretary of the Environment Protection Department.
Ms Nakyobe joined State House service in 1991 where she served as an assistant secretary in various departments of the State House, including Energy and Natural Resources department from 1991-1992, Tourism and Wild Life from 1993-1994, Office of the Vice President from 1994-95 and the State House from1995-1998.
Ms Judith Nabakooba
Born on October 28, 1977, in Mityana District, Ms Nabakooba studied Mass Communication at Makerere University.
After graduating from the university, she worked with Uganda Police Force as spokesperson between 2014 and 2015.
In the latter year, she then threw her hat in the political ring, running and winning as Mitayana District Woman Member of Parliament on the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) political party.
President Museveni in December 2019 named Ms Nabakooba the Minister of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), replacing Frank Tumwebaze who was moved to the Gender portfolio.
Ms Nabakooba, whom President Museveni has lately spoken fondly of and said she was fought by land grabbers, lost her parliamentary seat to another journalist, Ms Joyce Bagala, in January elections after garnering 48,078 votes against the eventual winner’s 64,305 votes.
Her reported choice as Kampala Minister, having fought land grabber, may have been informed by President Museveni’s spirited push to have the 11th Parliament resolve outstanding land questions once-and-for-all, making Ms Nabakooba’s ally for the looming battle.
Ms Ruth Nankabirwa
Born on November 1965 in Kiboga district, Ms Nankabirwa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art from Makerere University. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in Conflict Studies.
A renowned politician who served as the Chief Government Whip in the Cabinet until 2021, Ms Nankabirwa lost her parliamentary seat in the January 2021 elections.
She has gained significant experience over the years in different ministries, including for Defence, and her elevation to the position of Prime Minister, which superintends all ministries, would be a vote of approval in her experience.
She reportedly has the backing of the First Family, which could be a plus. Even if she loses, Ms Nankabirwa will not walk away empty-handed as the alternative of Defence Ministry beckons.
The former Kiboga Woman MP was first elected in 1996, serving uninterrupted until her defeat in January.
From 1998 through 2001, she served as Minister of State for Luweero Triangle in the Office of the Prime Minister then served as State Minister for Defence as well as State Minister for Microfinance State Minister for Fisheries onward to Chief Government Whip.
Dr Ruhakana Rugunda
Amiable and better known by peers by the sobriquet ‘ndugu’, the Kiswahili word for brother, Dr Ruhakana Rukunda, the outgoing prime minister, has been a constant face in Cabinet under President Museveni, except when he was assigned as Uganda’s permanent representative to the United Nations in New York.
He replaced his friend Amama Mbabazi, also from Kigezi region, jettisoned in an acrimonious fall-out with the President. Dr Rugunda is an original NRM ideologue and parachuting him to head the party secretariat as secretary-general will bring authority, respect and calm factional fighting.
He was born in Kabale District on November 7, 1947. He joined Makerere University Medical School and later the University of Zambia where he studied medicine, graduating with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.
Before joining Ugandan politics, Rugunda worked as medical officer in Zambia, as a physician at the District of Columbia General Hospital in Washington, D. C., and at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya.
In the NRM government, Dr Rugunda held a long series of Cabinet posts; Health, Works, Transport and Communication, Foreign Affairs, Information, Presidency, Water, Lands and Environment and Internal Affairs. Thus, he is an all-rounder.
Mr David Bahati
Like Dr Rugunda, the outgoing State Minister for planning in the Finance Ministry, Bahati hails from Kigezi. He was born on June 8, 1973. An accountant by profession, Mr Bahati is a Member of Parliament representing Ndorwa West in Kabale on NRM party ticket.
He Bahati received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Makerere University, a Master of Business Administration degree from Cardiff University, an executive certificate in strategic management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in America.
Before entering politics, Mr Bahati was head of finance and administration at Uganda’s Population Secretariat.
Amb Adonia Ayebare
The former journalist-turned-diplomat has lately been Uganda’s roller-coaster diplomat.
President Museveni tapped him from New York, where he is substantively Uganda’s permanent representative to the United Nations since March 2017, to lead the shuttle diplomacy to thaw the frosty Uganda-Rwanda relation.
He is simultaneously the pointsman for engagement with western ambassadors uneasy about the divisive and violent presidential poll.
Born on October 18, 1966, Amb Ayebare is a graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, one of America’s elite schools.
He has significant experience in diplomacy and security, having served as the Senior Adviser on Peace and Security at the African Union’s Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations in New York City between 2013-2017 and working on the Burundi Peace Process.
Mr Ayebare graduated in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from Makerere University and holds another Master of Arts degrees from Long Island University. His reported deployment as Foreign Minister is likely calculated to inject fresh blood, new energy and ideas in a ministry mostly populated by senior citizens.
A lawyer and politician, Mr Tayebwa was born on November 10, 1980, in Mitooma District. And in 2016 he was elected as the Member of Parliament for Ruhinda North County in Mitooma District under NRM party ticket.
A self-made wealthy man, he cut his business teeth first with bulk short-text messaging and in later years spread across various enterprises including investing in South Sudan. Mr Tayebwa also served in the previous Parliament as a member of the National Economy Committee and Natural Resources Committee.
In 2005, he graduated with a Bachelor of Social Sciences at Makerere University and, in 2012, he received a Bachelor of Law degree from Makerere as well.
He expressed his interest to contest for Deputy Speaker of 11th Parliament under NRM party but the President Museveni disclosed that he talked him out after the party’s central executive committee (CEC) chose Bukedea Woman MP Anita Among as its flag bearer. His likely appointment to Cabinet is yet to be comfirmed.
Dr Ramathan Ggoobi
Dr Ramathan Ggoobi is a policy analyst and researcher and has taught economics at various universities in Uganda, including Makaerere University Business School (Mubs). He has also trained senior military officers at Senior Staff and Command College Kimaka in Media Relations and Public Sector Economics for five years.
His engagement with the government has deepened over the years, particularly on matters of public policy analysis for senior leaders. He has co-authored several studies on Uganda’s economy. He holds a Master of Arts in Economic Planning and Policy, Economics.
Dr Ggoobi’s likely appointment as the new Minister of Finance, replacing the loquacious Matia Kasaija, places him at the heart of decision-making about Uganda’s economy where he will play the high-stakes game of practising that he has been teaching.
At the core of the consideration is his engagement on poverty alleviation, especially deploying his vast skills to supercharge the new Parish Model to fight household poverty.
Ms Margaret Muhanga (NRM) is the Fort Portal Northern Division MP and spokesperson for the ruling NRM party caucus in Parliament. She previously represented Burahya county from 2016-2021. Ms Muhanga, a journalist-turned-politician, previously worked at New Vision newspaper. She is a vocal NRM adherent and previously served as an administrator in the Office of the President.
Ms Muhanga is a sister to Brig Kayanja Muhanga, the commander of the Mountain Brigade, and journalist and political fixer Andrew Mwenda, who owns the Independent Magazine.
A retired army Major, Ms Jessica Alupo was -reelected as Katakwi Woman MP in January general elections. She first joined elective politics in 2001 and won as Katakwi District Woman representative.
She ran on the NRM ticket and won and was re-elected in 2006. In 2009, she was appointed as State Minister for Youth and Children Affairs. After winning re-election in 2011, President Museveni tapped her as Education and Sports minister, replacing long-serving Namirembe Bitamazire.
Maj (rtd) Alupo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Arts in International Relations and Diplomacy from Makerere University. She also holds a Diploma in public administration and management, obtained in 2008, from Uganda Management Institute (UMI).
Mr Frank Tumwebaze
Mr Frank Tumwebaze is the current MP representing Kibale County in Kamwenge District. He is the immediate former Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development. He previously served as Minister of Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) and Minister for Presidency and Kampala Affairs.
Mr Tumwebaze attended Jinja College for his A-level and joined Mbarara University of Science and Technology where he attained a Bachelor of Science in Education. He also holds Masters in International and Diplomatic Studies and Masters in Public Health from Makerere University.
He is considered one of the Young Turks, able to frontally take on the Opposition, as he has demonstrated on social media, prizing him as a must-have asset in President Museveni’s many arsenals for demine Opposition politics.
His reign as Kampala Minister saw him politically undercut Lord Mayor Lukwago, who was controversially impeached, and ousted from City Hall unceremoniously.
Ms Sarah Opendi is a Ugandan accountant and current Tororo District Woman MP. She is the immediate past State Minister of Mineral Development. Before that, from June 6, 2016 until December 14 2019, she served as the State Minister of Health for General Duties.
Highly placed sources say that she is unlikely to be retained in the next Cabinet, although the reason is unclear.
Prior, Ms Opendi served as the Minister of State for Primary Healthcare from August 15, 2012 until June 6, 2016 and was previously the State Minister for Lands.
Additional reporting by Damali Mukhaye