Events that unfolded during Thursday, June 10’s budget reading suggested Finance minister designate Matia Kasaija could be in trouble with President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni, and how Ntenjeru North MP Amos Lugoloobi could be set for bigger things.
Lugoloobi, a former chairperson of the budget committee of Parliament, is the junior (state) planning minister designate.
But Museveni chose him to read the budget speech on his behalf, yet Kasaija, the senior finance minister, was present.
Kasaija was taken by surprise, after it emerged Museveni had informed speaker of Parliament Lugoloobi would read the budget speech for the 2021-2022.
Museveni picked Lugoloobi in his capacity as Ntenjeru North MP.
Kasaija and some MPs emphasized the Constitution allowed the president to choose any one to read the budget speech on his behalf.
Yet, the events of the past week reveal how Kasaija could be quickly be running out of favour with the appointing authority.
In his State of the Nation Address, the president accused the Kasaija-led finance ministry for aiding corruption.
Could this allegation have informed the decision by Museveni to deny Kasaija a chance to read the budget for the first time in 2014.
Whether Museveni intended to send Kasaija signals of his ‘looming humiliation,’ according to sources, the president was pleased with Lugoloobi.
He congratulated him a couple of times on a job well done, including in the last sentence of his remarks.
“I want to thank the Hon Lugoloobi; you heard he very well presented the Budget,” Museveni praised the junior planning minister designate.
Parliament’s Appointments Committee was announced minutes before the budget speech.
The committee will vet ministerial nominees.
Speaker Jacob Oulanyah was yet to receive the cabinet list, he told the president.
Museveni also revealed he had forgotten to include former Kasese Municipality Mayor Godfrey Kabyanga on the list.
He promised to include the name and send the list to Oulanyah for vetting.
Could Museveni make last-minute changes to the list to replace Kasaija with Lugoloobi as Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development?