KAMPALA: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, re-elected in February for a third decade in power, has given his wife a coveted portfolio in a cabinet reshuffle announced late on Monday.
Museveni named his 67-year-old spouse Janet the education and sports minister, two weeks after promoting his son from brigadier to major general.
The ministry gets a large chunk of the budget and is an important portfolio in the east African nation.
The other appointment in the 80-member cabinet that raised eyebrows was that of Simon Lokodo, a reputed homophobe, as state minister of ethics and integrity in a country where homosexuality is punishable by a life term.
Museveni, 71, reappointed his Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi and Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda and retained Matia Kasaija and Irene Muloni as his finance and energy ministers, according to local media.
Former lawmaker Ken Lukyamuzi who served with Janet Museveni in last parliament said her elevation “was expected”.
“Museveni is pushing (a) family agenda in Ugandan politics. Recently he promoted his son to the rank of major general and now (his) wife is reappointed minister,” he told AFP on Tuesday.
Museveni´s son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, has denied claims that he plans to succeed his father, describing this as a “red herring” used by the opposition.
Tensions have been simmering in Uganda since the February election, which opposition leader Kizza Besigye says he won.
Besigye staged his own mock swearing-in ceremony after the polls, was arrested and jailed in a high-security prison in the capital Kampala after being charged with treason.
Treason is a capital offence in Uganda, but the death penalty has not been carried out for years.
A long-standing opponent of Museveni, Besigye has been frequently jailed, placed under house arrest, accused of both treason and rape, tear-gassed, beaten and hospitalised over the years.
Courtesy : TheNews