President warns ministers against unnecessary travel, absconding from cabinet meetings, says leadership is for the good of the people

Tuesday 30th October 2012
Department of Press and Public Relations. News. Information. Communication

President Yoweri Museveni has said that this term of government and the NRM must be that of action and not endless talk and depending on civil servants. He added that he expects the new ministers to be leaders of a new type who interact with civil servants to be knowledgeable to avoid being misled.

He warned ministers against unnecessary foreign travel, saying excessive travelling is a lack of seriousness, likening it to a local proverb which says, a woman who travels constantly never fills her milk calabash.

“A few weeks ago I gave a lecture and gave out what I thought were problems in the last 50 years and solutions in next 50 years. Being elected to a position is for a purpose... for a reason. That reason is for the good of the people not just for your good. As MPs, you ought to be conscious of these challenges which we have identified. We have put them in manifestos’ of NRM in successive elections we have had. As MP even before you become minister, you should know it’s your duty to push forward any of these programmes if they come to your line of duty expeditiously,” he said.

The President said Bujagali was frustrated by Members of Parliament of the sixth parliament.

“We had a minister Richard Kaijuka of Energy. He brought clear proposals to committee concerned and they blocked it. One of the people involved in blocking that move was Mugisha Muntu who is now fighting to be President of one of the parties. I remember him very well because when I called that committee he was one of them. He was sitting on my left. I asked them why are you delaying this dam. Whose dam is this? Is it a Ministers’ dam or it is a Ugandans dam including yourselves. If Minister did not do it properly why don’t you show him how to do things properly and move on? They said their job was to reject. That sought of attitude caused us to lose almost ten years of Bujagali dam and so much suffering. We ended up spending over 1.5 trillion shillings in subsidies for electricity all from that wrong attitude by MPs who think that their job is simply to play ping pong with government decisions not knowing that those decisions are for the sake of our mothers’ sisters and children,” he said.

The President said that is a problem with MPs not knowing their historical mission that out of 34 million people they are in a unique position and should do the best for the 34 million people.

On Ministers, the President said there appears to be another set of problems.

“Many of them don’t attend cabinet meetings and don’t tell the Vice President or Prime Minister who chair the Cabinet or seek permission, I’m going to issue very strict instructions to ensure that cabinet ministers attend their meetings on Wednesday and if they are to be away must get permission from the Prime Minister,” he said.

Apart from not attending cabinent meetings and other government programmes, the President said there is a problem of not being serious with work.

“There is need to implement government programmes. If a road must be implemented make sure it is done on time even if it means burning the midnight candle and finish your work,” adding that leaders must study a problem and be sure of their decisions.

The President drew comparisons of the bush war that liberated Uganda to good leadership and the ability to make good decisions, adding that decisions must be based on facts.

“There is a problem of decision making because people are not sure. To be lead by people who are not sure is a disaster. Am not saying you should be a dictator but you must guide people firmly. This is an intellectual job. Plan your work well despite having other demands in the constituency, parliament, cabinet and wanainchi,” he said.

The President also warned against unnecessary travel.

“Why travel too much? Me am exploiting the Vice President Ssekandi, he went to Australia, the UN, CHOGM etc. You ministers why must you travel? Why not exploit our ambassadors who are in those countries to attend and write reports. What ministerial thing are you going to do there? To represent our country, ambassadors can do that or under secretaries so that you do your work of decision making,” he said.

The President was today swearing in new cabinet ministers and ministers of State at State House in Entebbe. The new cabinet ministers who were sworn in include Prof. Tarsis Kabwegyere ( General Duties OPM),  Hon. Frank Tumwebaze (Presidency and Kampala Capital City Authority), Richard Todwong (Minister without Portfolio in-charge of Political Mobilization) and Hon. Kasule Lumumba who was elevated to chief whip. Others included Shem Bagaine (Minister of State for East African Affairs), Ernest Kiiza (Minister of State for Bunyoro Affairs), Ajedra Gabriel Gadison Aridru (Minister of State for Investment) Sarah Kataike Ndoboli (Minister of State for Health), Nantaba Aidah (Minister of State for Lands) and Rosemary Najjemba (Minister of State for Urban Development). The ceremony was attended by the Vice President Kiwanuka Ssekkandi, the Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki, The deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanya and the Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi. The ceremony was without handshakes due to the Marburg fever in the country.

The Oaths were administered by the Secretary to cabinet Mr. John Mitala and Permanent Secretary/Deputy Secretary to Cabinet V. Opio-Lukone supported by cabinet Secretariat staff, commissioner General Uganda Prisons Johnson Byabasaija, IGP Kale Kayihura, various ministers and permanent secretaries. The guests were later to a tea party hosted by the President and a photo opportunity.

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