(KampalaSDN)The Appointments Committee of Parliament has stayed vetting of President Yoweri Museveni’s six nominees for the National Citizenship and Immigration Board, over a petition by Muslims.
The committee was scheduled to interview former MPs Beatrice Nyakaisiki (Hoima), Jane Akwero Odwong (Kitgum) and John Eresu (Kaberamaido), and Patrick Ambako Kibrai, Elizabeth Nabakka Musazi and Agatha Namirembe Arembe on Monday.
However, when it met the committee agreed to first wait for a response from the President regarding a petition filed by the Muslim Parliamentary Caucus through their Imam, Latif Sebaggala.
The Muslims had petitioned Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, who is the chairperson of the appointments committee, asking her to halt the vetting exercise and approval of the nominees until the President addresses their concerns.
Kadaga had forwarded the petition to Museveni seeking his response on it, MPs said.
The Muslims had expressed unhappiness with the nominations complaining that they have been sidelined for a long time and wanted the President to reconsider his position.
“There are six members and none is a Muslim. We have many Muslims who are qualified people who are NRM cadres.”
Ssebaggala said vetting should be halted and the speaker should communicate to the President about this matter so that he could propose other names.
He noted that out of the 305 various government positions, Muslims have only 21 which is only 7%. “The President is unfair to Muslims,” he said.
The petition, he explained, came after several complaints that whenever the President appoints people especially on boards, he forgets the Muslims.
MP, Betty Aol Acan (FDC), a member of the appointments committee said, “We do not want to hear that some people are disgruntled. We told the nominees to bear with us. They will be informed in due course.”
She said as a woman she was happy with the composition (of four women and two men) arguing that more women should get into positions so that they are empowered.
The Board, according to Uganda Citizenship and Immigration Control Act, consists of chairperson and not more than six other persons appointed by the President with approval of Parliament.
Their term of office is four years, but they are eligible for re-appointment for one more term only.
The board is responsible for registering and issuing national IDs to Ugandan citizens, passports and other travel documents, and granting and cancelling immigration permits.
y Joyce Namutebi
Office kampala SDNEWS