By Simon Abaho
The Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja and the minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Eng. Hillary Onek have agreed to work together for the betterment of the country after reaching an agreement to cease fire against each other.
The two on Thursday reached a middle ground after the intervention of Vice President Maj. (Rtd) Jessica Alupo.
“We have had a good meeting and agreed to work together. We have decided to leave certain issues in the past and work for the betterment of our country,” Alupo revealed after a closed-door meeting with Nabbanja and Onek.
“We have agreed to look ahead and forget the past. We are one.”
The meeting, chaired by the Vice President as an arbiter; was also attended by Gen. Moses Ali, the Second Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Leader of Government Business in Parliament, and Lucy Nakyobe the Head of Public Service and Secretary to Cabinet
The others in the meeting held at the Vice President’s Office were Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka, Dr. Baryomunsi Chris the Minister of Information, Communications Technology and National Guidance and Esther Anyakun the State Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees.
The meeting follows a public spat between the Prime Minister and Minister Onek.
In a letter leaked to social media earlier this week, Onek threatened to resign over interference from the Prime Minister.
“From the time of your appointment, have been observing with total displeasure the fact that my role and that of my deputy as the Ministers in charge of refugees and disaster and the lead policymakers on matters of refugee and disaster management have been totally usurped by your office,” Onek said in an October, 29 letter.
“To my shock, my staff who I supervise are the ones being called for the meetings and not the line ministers. On 29th October 2021, you called for a meeting with the local leadership of Bududa without involving my office or even the area MPs which may lead to decisions being made that contradicts earlier and official cabinet position.”
In response, Prime Minister Nabbanja accused the minister of being lazy.
“If the minister decided to address me through social media then that’s different. It is discipline but I haven’t seen the letter . Maybe he was still formulating it . People are telling me that the signature on the letter is his. My offices and his are near each other,” Nabbanja told journalists.
“Sometimes we hold a number of meetings, he (Onek) does not attend and even today he didn’t attend. We can’t let Ugandans be suffocated. I told you on the onset of my term of office that we shall not allow laziness.”