“These appointments seem to be aimed at addressing disquiet from the sub-region concerning regional balance in government appointments.”
Oyam—15, December 2021: Over the weekend, President Museveni, the poker-faced sly fox of Ugandan politics, pulled rabbits out of his hat. The revered statesman, known for, in his own words, “going underground” when making political decisions, caused reverberations among the political talking class. Why? He made surprise appointments of Uganda’s ambassadors to foreign capitals.
A few opposition actors, always quick to make mountains out of molehills, started bemoaning in the Lango sub-region. Isaah Otto, a “secretary-general” in a fringe dissent UPC faction, was quoted by the press pouring scorn about the recalling of Ambassador Julius Peter Moto, Uganda’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Ireland in a piece by Frank Oyugi, an Editor at TND News.
In this piece, however, I will do a bird’s-eye analysis while giving special treatment to the Lango sub-region, the region of my birth.
President retained all but recalled one diplomat from the region. The erudite Julius Peter Moto, well known for honing the craft for economic diplomacy, was withdrawn from the Court of St. James, in London. The appointing authority perhaps withdrew the amiable and wonderfully greying diplomat owing, in part, to his sterling performance in economics and attracting foreign direct investments to Uganda.
Readers might recall that Moto, who hails from Oyam district, was once voted the best performing ambassador in the Uganda Foreign Service Corp. We can only conclude that, Amb. Moto, a social media savvy envoy, will get an improved assignment.
Otherwise, apart from this apparent wrinkle, the sub-region is in jubilation when not one, but two prominent former legislators: Paul Amoru Omiat and Ms. Doreen Amule, got juicy postings. Omiat to Pretoria in South Africa and Amule to Paris in France.
Rebecca Otengo was retained in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, out of consideration for her considerable wealth of experience and grasp of thorny regional issues.
- Ghost beneficiaries dominate Acholi, Lango and Teso cattle compensation lists
- Amb. Moto’s “emotional” farewell note after Museveni’s decision
- Analysis: Why Museveni dropped Amb. Moto, kept Otengo, Aceng
The effervescent Ruth Aceng, once a fiery UPC stalwart, remains in Ottawa, Canada.
These appointments seem to be aimed at addressing disquiet from the sub-region concerning regional balance in government appointments. There was a collective murmur of disapproval when the distingusihed former Permanent Secretary (PS) Obong Oleke was allegedly “dropped in the public interest” from public service.
David Obong Oleke, for the uninitiated, is one of Uganda’s finest and distinguished civil servants and he is a blue-eyed boy of Lango sub-region. He has a solid record of achievement, especially in increasing access to safe, clean water not only in the Lango sub-region but Uganda as a whole. Not a few faces frowned when he was dropped as Permanent Secretary.
The Lango sub-region and its people are faithful to her friends. The region rewarded NRM in the last election handsomely. But the sub-region is politically conscious. It is wonderful that the president is alive to, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, “the urgent question of now” as far as Lango is concerned.
The opposition politicians in Lango, for now, are like a deer caught in highway lights. Unable to understand the issues that exercise the minds of voters, they latch on from headline to headline.
The NRM party in this term is clear and very intentional: lifting the people from poverty through people-centered interventions. These include, but are not limited to, the parish development model, the Emyooga, SAGE and other social safety net programs. In this term, it is the people!
The writer, who hails from Minakulu, was a member of the Lango Presidential Media Team.