If there are any names to have sent shivers down the political spines of ardent political stalwarts, then it’s that of Paul Amoru and Doreen Amule.
Lira—14, December 2021: President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni never disappoints with his diversionary tactics of swiveling the citizenry from some debates. And yes, Sunday evening was another proof of his master class constitutional mandate.
Just in case you are behind, the country is now talking less about the ADF and the deployment of the gallant UDPF in the jungles of the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo after Tibuhaburwa threw in a long list of newly appointed ambassadors, deputy ambassadors and high commissioners.
The release has since attracted both negative and positive criticisms from the citizenry across socio and the political divides, with many questioning some of the fresh faces that have made the diplomatic list.
Social media platforms, largely WhatsApp, have seen many politicians, especially those in the opposition enraged by some ambassadors who have been dropped by the President.
“By the powers vested in the President of the Republic of Uganda, by Article 122 (1), I hereby appoint the following as Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Deputy Ambassadors to respective brotherly and friendly countries as listed below,” Museveni said in a statement released by Senior Presidential Press Secretary, Lindah Nabusayi Wambooka.
Maj. Gen. Matayo Kyaligonza is re-appointed Uganda’s ambassador to Burundi, Amb. Elizabeth Napeeyok goes to Rome; Ms. Robbie Kakonge to Washington DC, Ms. Amule Doreen to Paris, Amb. Nimisha Madhvani to London.
Others are Amb. Adonia Ayebare (Special Envoy, retained), Amb. Joyce K. Kikafuunda, who goes to New Delhi; Amb. Ruth Aceng will remain in Ottawa; Mr. Amoru Paul to Pretoria, Amb. Dr. Hassan Galiwango, Nairobi.
Amb. Rebecca Otengo will remain in Addis Ababa, while Mr. Moses Kizige goes to Moscow.
In this piece, TND News senior political writer and editor Frank Oyugi carries both reactions from some leaders in the country, but also explores the reasons behind the fresh faces and why some diplomats were dropped with attention in Lango sub-region.
With an eagle eye, one would be quick to note that the Lango sub region had a +2 and -1 in the new deployment following the appointment of Paul Amoro Omiat and Doreen Amule, both former Members of Parliament while Uganda’s High Commissioner to the UK and Ireland Julius Peter Moto was dropped.
Paul Amoru was Dokolo North MP before he lost to Ogwal Goli in the 2021 elections while Doreen Amule lost her Woman MP seat of Amolatar district to Agnes Apnea.
Both subscribe to the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, whose national chairman is equally the appointing authority.
Could their appointment be a political reward?
If there are any names to have sent shivers down the political spines of ardent political stalwarts, then it’s that of Paul Amoru and Doreen Amule. Perhaps because it was quite unprecedented. But colossal sacrifices executed by the duo are worth a political reward.
Paul Armoru, a graduate of mass communication, left active journalism practice and delved into politics as an opposition figure with the Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] party and his catapult was first aimed at NRM strong man Felix Okot Ogong. He didn’t succeed in that attempt.
After chilling in the political corridors for five years, Amoru strategized in the newly curved constituency of Dokolo North, took a quantum leap and joined the NRM.
He was labeled many names such as “a political prostitute” by those who felt he had betrayed his FDC party and Iron Lady “Atat” Cecilia Ogwal, who had carried Paul Amoru like her handbag to the political podium in Dokolo.
So, he was rightly rewarded with a seat in Pretoria for staking his conscience and integrity, which also rewarded him until he lost MP’s seat as Dokolo North MP.
So important to note is that following his conversion to NRM, he became a solid preacher of the NRM ideologies. He would religiously hunt for votes for President Museveni. Our impeccable acquaintances close to him describe him as an accomplished gentleman and that the journalist cum politician has a cool temperament who deserves such a diplomatic appointment.
As for Doreen Amule, there is not much we shall digest here. It’s all written on the wall that the closure of Lake Kyoga, which sent many fishermen packing, became a propaganda store for her political antagonists. You might be wondering why?
We should recall that Amule was the chairperson of the defense committee of Parliament and they queried her on the deployment of soldiers and alleged torture of fishermen and locals around Lake Kyoga.
Perhaps, something which she had little control over and had scanty answers for made her to pay the price. A pundit argues that her appointment is indeed worthwhile.
The dropping of Ambassador Julius Peter Moto
For eight  years, Moto, an economist from Oyam district, has been at the helm of foreign services. His first deployment was to Pretoria, South Africa, where he served distinctively served before going to London, United Kingdom (UK).
But unlike his other colleagues, including Ambassadors Ruth Aceng and Rebecca Amuge Otengo, all from the sub-region who openly campaigned and mobilized for NRM during both 2011, 2016, and 2021 elections, the former teacher remained politically humbled and mute yet diplomatically active.
Security sources revealed Peter has been considered politically silent to the appointing authority coupled with his usual openness while contributing on social issues in various forums where he would take a sharp tone on certain issues not so supported by the government.
Another source revealed that security also took a keen interest in his independent arguments on certain matters considered sensitive to the appointing authority, including Lango’s cultural dispute and issues to do with cattle compensation.
It’s also believed that because of his political silence and humbleness, the appointing authority could have realized that his values towards 2026 transitional politics won’t be so relevant.
How Aceng held “her Ottawa”
Towards the 2021 campaigns, Museveni entrusted Amb. Aceng and directed her to coordinate and garner votes for NRM and subsequently accompanied him to his various rallies across the country as she did in 2016.
That time, in 2016, was the first time we saw openly a serving opposition MP campaigning for the ruling NRM. She would later lose her seat.
What started as a simple political support for NRM soon saw President Museveni trusting Aceng and subsequently fully recruited her into the NRM power house.
Isaah Otto Amiza, UPC secretary general on the side of Peter Walubiri, is unhappy with the dropping of Ambassador Moto whom he believes was hardworking in terms of creating investment opportunities for the country.
- Amb. Moto’s statement at Uganda-UK investment and trade convention
- TNDQuestions: Amb. Julius Moto on diplomacy, Barlonyo massacre, agric and more
- Odaka: Why i think the Congo operation is not primarily about fighting ADF
However, Andrew Omara, also of UPC, disagrees with this opposition, arguing on social media platforms that the President has the prerogative to appoint and disappoint and that one can’t hold an office forever
Note: [Comments adapted from social media platforms].