Uganda’s Museveni appoints wife as minister for the third time

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has appointed his wife, Janet Museveni as the minister for education and sports, usually a coveted portfolio in Uganda because it takes one of the largest chunks of the annual budget.

The Ugandan president named a new cabinet on Monday, retaining his Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, prime minister Ruhakana Rugunda and ministers for energy and finance. Most of his ministers were reappointed.

Museveni who has ruled the east African country for 30 years, won the February presidential election with 60 percent of the vote. Kizza Besigye, Museveni’s main rival rejected the results and called the election a sham, as he alleged widespread rigging, intimidation by security forces and use of state funds to bribe voters.

Besigye has been kept under virtual house arrest for several weeks as tensions rise in the country. He was charged with treason  over a mock swearing-in ceremony held by his party where they swore him in as Uganda’s president.

Criticisms in some quarters over Museveni’s choice of cabinet has been addressed by government spokesman Shaban Bantariza who insisted that the president was certain about the merits of his appointees.

Mrs Museveni has been involved in governance for decades. She became the First Lady of Uganda in 1986 after her husband’s National Resistance Army seized power in Kampala. In 2006, she contested for the parliamentary seat of Ruhaama county and won. She was re-elected in March 2011 to another five-year term. During this period, precisely 2009, Janet Museveni was appointed State Minister for Karamoja Affairs, by her husband, President Yoweri Museveni. Karamoja is a region in Uganda. In 2011, she became the Minister for Karamoja Affairs.