Sometimes one is forced to wonder, especially if you are from Rwanda, what criteria the President leader follows to appoint his Cabinet Ministers.
Universally, one would expect that for anyone to merit the appointment to cabinet level, they must at least possess some level of decorum, discipline and intelligence.
Apparently, not in Uganda. I am sorry to say, but it is difficult to differentiate between some State Ministers and Kampala taxi touts. This perhaps explains why public service delivery in Uganda is the lowest in East Africa.
Some Ministers demonstrate wild and embarrassing behaviour, and it never matters to them that their positions in Government may not allow them to behave like gutter-rats.
The problem is compounded by the fact that the Government Spokesperson who should be ensuring order and discipline by acting as the sole avenue through which Government stand is ousted, is even worse when it comes to self-verbal control. It’s a free-for-all situation, the Wild West.
I would like to cite just two prominent incidents to support my argument. Most recently, on a radio show known as capital gang, the State Minister for housing, while commenting on the Uganda-Rwanda standoff and President Kagame’s statement to that effect as he addressed diplomats accredited to Rwanda, Minister Chris Baryomunsi said that the main cause of the tension between the two countries was because President Kagame is seeking attention!
How is a Head of State standing up for the people that chose him to lead them, who are being abducted and detained in another country without any reason be termed as ‘attention seeking’?
Unlike in Rwanda where Government officials are appointed on merit and given specific goals to achieve annually, across the border one only has to be a sycophant in addition to representing a constituency that will deliver enough presidential votes. That is why we have plagues like Chris Baryomunsi and Philemon Mateke.
As long as they are to make their respective constituencies keep voting yellow, they are guaranteed to die in their positions, even if they may not know the responsibilities of their ministerial dockets. That is why they have all the time to appear on radio shows and shoot their mouths about issues outside their dockets while citizens are suffering, as they seek the attention and approval rates from their boss.
I am not surprised that the same fella keeps getting into trouble for verbal diarrhoea. Towards the conclusion of last year, the same thug was ordered to pay a businessman called Garuga in millions after court found him guilty of lack of mouth control.
That is the reason why, when Baryomunsi sees a Head of State fighting for the plight of his people, he sees an attention seeker. See, things like dedicated service to the people and country are strange things where he comes from. To him and his kind, a position of leadership is a rare opportunity to enjoy a free salary and benefits and drink malwa to aid him sleep through cabinet meetings and public gatherings.
As I was asking whether the fella is really a Minister, I was told that he actually is a medical doctor! Before I recovered from my shock, I remembered that the same country also has Dr. Mateke and Dr. Gideon Rukundo Rugari, both of whose level of IQ defy their academic status. Minister Mateke recently went berserk and forgot he was a Ugandan cabinet minister and machine gunned tweets bearing messages reminiscent of pre-genocide period messaging in Rwanda. He was so out of control the Government had to practically sedate him to make him stop, before apologising on his behalf and putting down the account.
With lunatics like Baryomunsi and Mateke as cabinet ministers of our neighbouring country, we need divine intervention if we are to realise a sustainable and stable neighbourly relationship.