- In 1994, Dr Specioza Kazibwe became the first female Vice President in Africa making her the first woman in Africa to hold the position of vice-president of a sovereign nation.
Kampala. Uganda’s President Museveni on Tuesday tapped Jessica Alupo, the former Education minister and retired UPDF Major, as Vice President and named outgoing junior Health State Minister for General Duties Robinah Nabbanja as prime minister.
This is the second time that the second highest office of the vice President is held by a woman in Uganda and the first time in the position of Prime Minister.
In 1994, Dr Specioza Kazibwe became the first female Vice President in Africa making her the first woman in Africa to hold the position of vice-president of a sovereign nation.
Since then more women have risen to become vice presidents and even Presidents including the recent rise of Tanzania’s Samia Suluhu Hassan who became the first female President in East Africa.
Museveni announced the new Cabinet after an inordinate delay and a day after this newspaper, based on a draft list, reported that the Vice President Edward Ssekandi and Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda were to be dropped and both be replaced by women.
Our reporting showed that State House Comptroller, Ms Lucy Nakyobe, was the initial choice for the second top position while Ms Ruth Nankabirwa and NRM secretary general Justine Lumumba led the pack for a PM pick.
Highly-placed sources told this newspaper that the President altered some of the names at the last minute after leak of some of the nominees’ in the original list to this newspaper.
Ms Lumumba has, as we reported, been removed from the secretariat and appointed Minister for General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, replacing Ms Karoro Okurut. Deputy secretary general Richard Todwong takes over as substantive boss at Plot 10 Kyadondo Road.
Our sources had intimated that Dr Rugunda was headed as the ruling party’s secretary general, but Mr Museveni has instead named him special envoy in the Office of the President.
Mr Thomas Tayebwa and Mr David Bahati, both of whom we reported were pending deployment, have been named NRM Chief Whip and State Trade Minister, respectively, while MP Margaret Muhanga made it to Cabinet as we reported, but to a different docket.
Ms Nankabirwa, who lost her Kiboga Woman seat in January, has been named Energy Minister as Finance Minister Matia Kasaija retains his portfolio, unlike what we reported yesterday, while the Foreign Affairs, long held by Mr Sam Kutesa, goes to Internal Affairs Minister Jeje Odongo, a military general.
He is replaced at Internal Affairs by Kahinda Otafire, a retired army major general, to be deputised by the Gen David Muhoozi, until now the chief of defence forces.
The other surprises include the return of former spymaster and Health Minister, Maj General Jim Muhwezi, after years in the political cold, as Security Minister, replacing Gen Elly Tumwine, who argued that security forces were justified to kill civilians during the November riots.