To an outsider, it is a normal transfer but to those in the know, it is not the obvious reasons why President Yoweri Museveni shuffled permanent secretaries.
President Museveni yesterday November 4, 2016 made changes that saw a number of long serving Permanent Secretaries dropped while youthful ones like Vincent Bagiire being appointed.
Long serving Dr. Kabagambe Kaliisa, James Mugume, Stephen Kagoda and Gabindade Musoke were dropped.
The reshuffle came hardly five months after they together with ministers underwent rigorous training at the National Leadership Institute (NALI) Kyakwenzi [on how to deliver the promises contained in the 2016 manifesto].
Reasons for reshuffle
Born in 1954 in Hoima District, Fred Kabagambe-Kaliisa has worked with the ministry for over 40 years and has been at the helm of Uganda’s oil deal negotiations for 20 years.
He graduated with Honours in Geology and Chemistry in 1976. Before going to Australia in 1980 for a post-graduate diploma in Mineral exploration, Dr. Kabagambe who by the time of retiring was holding a PhD discovered 12 million tonnes of gypsum, a mineral used in the making of cement in Semiliki, in 1976. Three years later, he discovered 30 million tonnes of Marble in Moyo District.
He was among the first lot of people President Yoweri Museveni seconded for Master’s degree in 1987 soon after capture of power so as to widen their scope of knowledge and comeback help in human resource capacity.
Kaliisa has been in good books for his hard work and paying attention to detail. However his stars started winding when reports on how Bujagali dam was constructed with disregard to the advice of another sector players. Kaliisa remained firm and defended his position on Bujagali that saw him and line Minster Eng. Hilary Onek falling out.
Another hurdle which he managed to skip but left him bruised is when he clashed with Gen. Salim Saleh who chaired a preisential committee tasked with whether Umeme was exorbitantly charging. The two clashed before Museveni with Gen. Saleh recommending for slashing in the price of unit per kilowatt while Eng. Kaliisa insisted on an increment. With Mr. Museveni backing the latter, it left Gen. Saleh bitter and the two have not been on talking terms.
However the final nail came when the Ministry of Energy gave birth to Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited. UEGCL leadership and the mother ministry have been at logger heads over authority on who should have full powers to supervise the two dams (Karuma and Ismba). It is reported that whereas the cracks were minor, UEGCL capitalized on them to lure the President on their side while the ministry was being under looked and the rest is history as the mission is achieved.
With the two pulling ropes, UEGCL out maneuvered and drafted reports on how the Ministry of Energy under the supervision of Kaliisa was allegedly paying little attention to the construction works at the two dams and that had allegedly led to cracks.
The above dossier led to the President Museveni to warn the Ministry of Energy on their reluctance to supervise and also sent Eng. Paul Mubiru, the director energy on suspension.
It is also said that whereas the above fights where going on, UEGCL board chairman, Dr. Stephen Isabaliija convinced President Museveni that authorities at the Ministry of Energy weren’t doing enough to help him find buyers of Bujagali. And at this time, Mr Museveni summoned a meeting involving officials from Energy Ministry and UEGCL and told them to stop the process of looking for a buyer of Bujagali has he gave powers to Isabaliija to transact.
However, to date, Isabaliija has failed to find a buyer for Bujagali despite him moving with the letter from President.
Largely, Kaliisa’s problems can be summed up on his allegedly woes with Dr. Isabaliija and UEGCL Chief Executive Officer Harrison Mutikanga. Nevertheless, among those that have been fighting Kaliisa is his replacement and so we wait and see whether he will put right what failed Kaliisa.
The Harvard- trained lawyer has had his contract renewed three times which was unusual. But his majorly caused his dropping was the wrangles within the ministry. For example he recently posted a Foreign Service officer Julius Ankunda was posted to Turkey Ankra but two days was recalled and instead sent to Tehran in Iran. Mr Ankunda has instead sued government in what he called an “arbitrary cancellation”.
In an application filed at the High Court Civil Division on September 23, Mr. Ankunda also wanted court to stop Foreign Affairs permanent secretary James Mugume from meddling in his posting. Ankunda’s brother Adonia Ayebare was also pushed out of the ministry in a similar manner.
There are also many wrangles in the ministry and there are issues of accountability at the Ugandan embassies in across the globe.
PPS Mary Amajo
She has been one powerless Principal Private Secretaries in the history of that job. Ms Amajo’s humble demeanor was exploited by young powerful women like Maj. Judith Nakalema and Maj. Night. She was sidelined and many times, it was the powerful Nakalema who was doing all the work as PPS.
She was very unhappy being of mistreatment from Maj. Nakalema. One time she was embarrassed by this army officer. She carried this embarrassment to her Church and asked her friends to pray for her. Dropping her is not surprise. In fact, sources say she wanted to leave that job long ago.
She has been replaced by Ms Molly Kamukama, a young, brilliant and assertive lady. Formerly, working with Electoral Commission, Ms Kamukama will most likely clash with this strong Nakalema.
In fact, it had never happened when the President is announcing new appointments for this position that you see him also appointing Personal Assistant to the President who is Maj. Nakalema and her deputy Maj. Night Ikiriza.
There are two power centers in State House fighting to push each other out. For someone to survive, has to be careful with group to ally with. Ms Kamukama who is a bully of sorts may not work well with the two ladies.
Dr. Asuman Lukwago
However, sources say for outgoing Ministry of Health, Dr. Asuman Lukwago, his transfer from health docket to Education Service Commission, it was more than a transfer as Dr. Lukwago is reported to have ambushed President Museveni with a resignation letter for his new appointment at international level. However, sources say Mr Museveni was hesitant to commit himself and before Dr. Lukwago knew his fate, Diana Atwine had been appointed to replace him at the Ministry of Health. However, what isn’t certain is whether Lukwago will accept his new posting at Education Service Commission or he will decline and go for his new international job.
Lukwago has not been working well with former Director General of Health Services, Ruth Acen who was recently appointed Health Minister. Whereas Lukwago is accused of being a radical person, into Acen connived with others like Diana Atwine who has actually replaced him to run the Health Ministry.
For Stephen Kagoda, Kabindadi Musoke, other that had clocked 60 years, were overdue for retirement.