President Museveni has appointed Public Service minister, Mr Wilson Muruli Mukasa, as acting minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, ending a six-month period of the ministry running with no political head.
The office has been vacant since June 2021, when Museveni named a new Cabinet but left the position unfilled.
According to a January 13 letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Mukasa, will now hold the two portfolios, as the country awaits a substantive minister.
“As you know, I have not yet appointed a substantive minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs,” Mr Museveni said in the letter.
He added: “Therefore, by powers given to the President by Article 98 (1) and 99(1) of the Constitution, I assign Hon. Muruli Mukasa to be acting Minister of Constitutional Affairs in addition to his role as Minister of Public Service”.
The deputy press secretary to the President, Mr Faruk Kirunda, yesterday confirmed the development, saying the President had conducted the necessary consultations before the appointment. Mr Mukasa will hold fort at a time the justice and constitutional sector has a plateful of issues including the debate around bail for capital offenders, claims of rule of law and human rights abuses.
The Justice ministry is mandated to ensure that Uganda upholds the rule of law, good governance and takes charge of the legal due process for all citizens and residents.
Judiciary spokesperson Jameson Karemani welcomed the appointment, saying the minister will be good support to their operations.
“As an institution we have been trying to mobilise resources, financial and human resources to meet our strategic plan, and the Chief Justice has been putting in all the effort. With the addition of the voice of the minister, we shall achieve more,” he said.
The Attorney General, Mr Kiryowa Kiwanuka, said : “There are functions that are carried out by the minister of Justice and they could not be carried out until an appointment was made. There was some disruptions. The most common is places of marriage, they are supposed to be signed by the Minister of Justice. Presentation of certain bills. We have some bills to be presented by the minister of Justice. We managed through but this is the best thing that has happened.”
Mr. Kiryowa said the President can assign as many responsibilities to an individual as possible.
About Muruli Mukasa
The 69-year-old has served in different capacities, as Minister for Security from 2011 to 2015 and as Minister for Labour and Social Development from 2011 to 2016. He was named minister for Public Service in June 2016, and returned to the office in the June 2021 cabinet.
Mr Muruli Mukasa is a teacher by profession and was practising until 2011 when he joined politics as MP for Budyebo County (Nakasongola).