By Leilah Bbaale
Newly elected MPs who had been praying that they get appointed ministers but whose hopes were dashed with the announcing of the new cabinet can now see a tiny ray of hope. This follows the increase of ministerial positions by one more slot.
Parliament has today approved the creation of the position of yet another Minister of State bringing the number of the cabinet to 81, from 80 last week.
This means that State Minister will now be 51, while the cabinet Ministers will be 30.
Before the January 2021 general election, the cabinet had a total of 79 Ministers, out of which 29 were cabinet Ministers while 50 were State Ministers. However last week Parliament approved the creation of the State Minister for Gender in charge of elder persons increasing the number to 80.
However, just a week after, Government has moved to increase the number to 81 by providing for a Minister of State under the Ministry of Information Communications Technology and National Guidance.
During the plenary sessions held on Monday morning chaired by Deputy Speaker Anita Among, the house approved the motion with barely any debate.
Normally, such a motion that has financial implications should have been moved by the government but the ministers are not yet approved. Fox Odoi, the West Budama North MP moved the motion to increase the number of Ministers on behalf of Government.
Odoi said that President Museveni has determined that there is a need to adjust the total number of other Ministers approved by Parliament by Parliament by providing an additional Minister of State for ICT and National Guidance.
He moved that the number be increased from 50 to 51 State Ministers. Speaking onhis motion, Odoi read president Museveni’s letter calling for the provision of an additional Minister to provide effective political supervision over the huge Government machinery.
Odoi said that this will also address the issue of inclusion and participation but also balance the country.
Abdu Katuntu, the Bugweri County MP who defended the motion said that the President was clear that some regions had been left out in the cabinet appointment and this new Ministerial position is meant to cure this.
Sarah Opendi said that it is not good to attach a Ministry to a particular region, saying that although it has been hinted that Kasese has been left out of the appointments, not every district has been catered for in the appointments.
Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa questioned why the Speaker was trying to convince members that the motion was already debated on 10th June, and yet that was a totally different motion compared to the one introducing the Minister of State for National Guidance.
He says if this is a new motion, then debate should happen.
Although MPs raised a matter of Procedure on debating on the motion, Anita Among the Deputy Speaker said that the matter was already debated and posed the question on the motion, which the house approved.