By Kato Mivule | February 19, 2009
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni ‘reshuffled’ his cabinet, dropping some Ministers while bringing onboard new and old party loyalists according to the Ugandan Press. Among those dropped in the reshuffle was the I.T Minister Dr. Ham Mulira, one of Uganda’s top I.T experts.
Replacing Dr. Ham Mulira is a Harvard Graduate, Aggrey Awori who has had a history of contentions with Ugandan Dictators, including the present Museveni Regime but recently he surprised everyone when he crossed party lines and joined the Museveni ruling party.
Reasons behind the dropping of Dr. Ham Mulira are not known but most likely are political as President Museveni sought to reward his surrogates with positions of power in his regime despite the fact that most of the latest appointees are totally incompetent and lack the merits.
The most telling of these political appointments was President Museveni dropping Dr. Suruma, Uganda’s Economic and Finance Czar and replacing him with Syda Bbumba, who now becomes Uganda’s first female Finance Czar.
She has experience of only being a Banker in relation to Economics and named as one of the worst ministers of the year 2004 for the power shortages during her tenure as Energy Minister. What should Ugandans expect during her tenure as Finance Minister?
However, the dropping of Dr. Ham Mulira is a set back to the Ugandan I.T Sector. He led Uganda’s first I.T Ministry and oversaw the structuring of Uganda’s I.T Governmental Body.
The appointment of Aggrey Awori brings a lot of questions because Aggrey Awori is simply a political appointee and Mr. Museveni engaging in patronage and rewarding his surrogates.
However, the I.T. Ministry requires expertise and ‘Technical Know How’, but President Museveni seems to have gone with the ‘Technical Know Who’ ideals in appointing Aggrey Awori as Uganda’s Chief I.T Officer.
Mr. Aggrey Awori might not even know the lingual involved in I.T though he is a Political Economist from Harvard. Will it be that Dr. Ham Mulira will give Mr. Aggrey Awori a Computer 101 Class before he hands over the Powerful I.T ministry to him?
The same can be said of the new Finance Minister, Syda Bbumba, she has no knowledge and experience of economics and her profile shows that she totally mismanaged Uganda’s Electric Power Sector while she was Energy Minister.
On the other hand Dr. Suruma is an economics expert; despite some set backs he had in Uganda with the NSSF (National Social Security Fund) Funds debacle, Dr Suruma is an expert in his own field.
President Museveni is found of appointing his friends, cousins, and relatives to very technical government posts, only for the relatives to fail to deliver, the latest example is when he appointed his brother Salim Saleh as Minister of Micro Finance who totally failed to extend Micro Finance Credit to Uganda’s Poor.
Uganda’s Government I.T Department risks setbacks because of political appointees who have no technical and managerial expertise to deliver. Ugandan Parliament should scrutinize these new appointees and put them to task to deliver, withdraw their appointment, or resign and avoid the embarrassment.
Uganda cannot afford more years of political games as designed and orchestrated by President Museveni with his political appointees and rewarding of incompetent surrogates.
The I.T. Ministry is very critical to Uganda’s development, from the Agricultural sector, Immigration, Finance, Banking, and Education, information Technology has proved to be a very powerful vehicle in fostering growth and development, thanks to Dr. Ham Mulira’s efforts in laying the infrastructure needed.
Poverty, Diseases, and Illiteracy will still haunt Uganda as President Museveni continues his political games by appointing officials who know nothing about their fields and will only foster mismanagement and corruption.
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