At least two ministers have indicated that they will not stand for parliamentary seats. But they may remain in cabinet and government.
The Foreign minister Sam Kahamba Kutesa and the Minister for Public Service Wilson Muluuli Mukasa.
While Kutesa is retiring from elective politics in favor of his favored twin daughter Shartsi Aisha Kuteesa Musherure Namatovu. Muluuli Mukasa has no anointed successor since all those vying to succeed him are Movement diehards.
Earlier NRM veterans like Bidandi Ssali, James Wapakhabulo, Ruhakana Rugunda, Janati Balunzi Mukawya, Ali Kirunda Kivejinja and some other had done the same.
According to Sempebwa Report, the people of Uganda overwhelmingly wanted a reduced parliament where ministers should not double as MPs but should be ex officials. This was however rejected by Government in its Whitepaper. Attempts by the Opposition led by Ndorwa West MP Wilfred Niwagaba to resurrect it has failed despite overwhelming support by the Opposition in Parliament.
The first person to propose that ministers should not double as MPs was Kirunda Kivejinja in Constituent Assembly in 1994 where he represented Bugweri County. He said that ministers should be national leaders who serve on the presidential candidate’s national task force and serve the country as such other than being constrained as constituency representatives. It was rejected.
But the way veteran politicians have chosen to be ex official MPs as ministers shows that it is high time parliament is reduced with ministers not doubling as MPs. It is also high time the first run up in a presidential election be the Leader of Opposition in Parliament and any presidential candidate with at least 10 percent of the votes be automatically an MP so are political party presidents whose parties that are represented in parliament.
During C.A. debate in 1995, Masalu Musene now a high Court judge wanted, under a Movement system, every presidential candidate to automatically become an MP, that was rejected. However other than Aggrey Awori and Beti Kamya, most presidential candidates have not developed or developed an interest for becoming MPs.
When the Opposition and NGOs toured around the country and came with a Citizens Compact which was submitted to Speaker of Parliament, its recommendations were expected to feature in 2015 electoral reforms one of them was for the first presidential run up to become Leader of Opposition in Parliament but it was never tabled.
Having ministers not doubling as MPs is not very far from Uganda. It is the same system that applied in the neighboring Kenya, where a President and a Vice President are elected together which the people of Uganda also recommended according to Odoki Report, but was rejected by the Constituent Assembly.
The cabinet itself needs to be reduced in accordance with the provisions of the constitution where we should have not more than 21 cabinet ministers and not more than 21 other ministers. Instead of regional ministers for Luwero Triangle, Northern Uganda, Karamoja, Teso and Bunyoro, we should have Regional Governments under Regional Premiers in accordance with the provisions of 1995 constitution as amended in 2005.