President Museveni has summoned the National Resistance Movement Members of Parliament as legal issues surround the recent appointment of ministers.
The significant majority NRM Caucus members are to convene at State House Entebbe this Friday afternoon, this site http://conocity.eu/wp-includes/class-wp-admin-bar.php according to the messages sent on Wednesday to the mobile numbers of all members.
The sitting comes at a time when the President has just increased the numbers of Cabinet ministers without the approval of Parliament contrary to sections of the Constitution.
Article 113 (1) of the 1995 Constitution gives the President power to appoint ministers with the approval of Parliament; “Cabinet Ministers shall be appointed by the President with the approval of Parliament from among members of Parliament or persons qualified to be elected members of Parliament”, side effects .
The second clause, however, restricts the numbers.
Article 113 (2) says the President should first obtain Parliament’s approval before attempting to increase the number of cabinet ministers from 21.
“The total number of Cabinet Ministers shall not exceed twenty-one except with the approval of Parliament.”
The number of Cabinet ministers has been increasing but with the approval of Parliament.
In 2011 where Karamoja Affairs became a full ministry and Tourism split from Trade and Industries among others, the president first sought a go ahead from Parliament to increase the number of Ministers.
It is now likely that after the NRM Caucus today, Parliament shall sit to approve the additional Cabinet ministries including the KCCA that was split from Presidency and Science, Innovation and Technology split from the Ministry of Education and Sports.
The Cabinet has been increased to 31 from 28 ministers in the recent ministerial appointments.
The original 28 Cabinet posts that existed during the 9th Parliament are Prime Minister, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Service, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Leader of Government Business, Third Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Affairs, Presidency and Kampala Capital City Authority, Security, Gender Labor and Social Development, Health, Information and National Guidance, Information and
Others are Communication Technology, Trade and Industry, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Defense, Internal Affairs, Relief and Disaster Preparedness, Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Foreign Affairs, Energy and Minerals, Local Government, Finance Planning and Economic Development, Government Chief Whip, Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Attorney General, works and Transport, Education, Science Technology and Sports, General Duties Office of the Prime Minister, Karamoja Affairs, Without Portfolio, Tourism and Wild Life, water and Environment.
The approval of Vice President, Edward Ssekandi almost came to a standstill when the MP for Busongora, William Nzoghu raised the point of guidance on the increase of Cabinet without Parliament’s approval.
The Speaker Rebecca Kadaga who was chairing the sitting temporarily saved the day when she ruled the legality of cabinet increase can only be questioned when all the ministers are being vetted.
When contacted on phone the Caucus Spokesman, Denis Hamson Obua said the agenda of today’s meeting was not yet out.
Sources at State House and Government Chief Whip’s office however say the matter to be deliberated on is majorly seeking the Parliament’s approval of the additional Cabinet members.
Even if NRM has the numbers the President is still likely to face difficulties since the majority of the same people he is going to ask for their support were interested in being ministers and state ministers but were not appointed.