PROFILED: Six new ministers cleared to enter cabinet, see their journeys

L-R: The new faces in President Museveni's Cabinet; Mr Balaam Barugahara Ateenyi, Phionah Nyamutoro, Dr Kenneth Omona, Gen Wilson Mbadi, Florence Wamala Nambozo, and Lillian Aber (Photo/DailyExpress)

Kampala, (UG):- The Parliament Appointments Committee chaired by Speaker Anita Among on Monday, March 25 vetted and approved six new ministers to enter President Museveni’s cabinet hoping to serve for the next 18 months until elapse of this current term.

The six appointees included; the State Minister for Youth and Children Affairs, Mr Balaam Barugahara Ateenyi; Kitgum Woman MP, Hon Lillian Aber the State Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness, and Refugees; and State Minister in charge of Northern Uganda, Dr Kenneth Omona, National Youth MP, Phiona Nyamutoro, the State Minister for Energy (Minerals), Sironko Woman MP, Hon Florence Nambozo Wamala the State Minister for Karamoja Affairs and Gen Wilson Mbadi, the State Minister for Trade.

Below, we bring you the profiles of these new faces added to Museveni’s cabinet.

Balaam Barugahara, Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs.

Born in 1979, Balaam Barugahara Ateenyi is a businessman, commonly known for promoting music and events. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Balaam group of companies which owns Radio 4, Radio 7, among other radio stations in Uganda and South Sudan.

Balaam studied at Namasagali School, St John Bosco Senior Secondary School as well as Original Progressive Senior Secondary School for A-Level.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from Makerere University and a Master of Business Administration from Cavendish University, Uganda.

In February 2023, Balaam was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in humanity from Zoe Life Theological College, USA.

He has invested in media and marketing companies as well as real estate which are spread in various parts of the country.

In recent years, Mr Barugahara has been among the key players behind the first son’s Muhoozi Kainerugaba (MK) project, later rebranded to the Patriotic League of Uganda (PLU).

Ms Lillian Aber, Minister of State for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees.

Born in Kitgum District in northern Uganda, Ms Aber holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Communication as well as a Master of Public Administration from Makerere University. She also attained a Master of Business Administration in Oil and Gas.

In 2012, she contested and won the position of Guild Representative Councillor (GRC) at Makerere University and was later appointed as guild minister at the institution.

In 2015, she stood for Makerere Guild Presidency on the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) ticket but lost. She was later appointed vice guild President. In the same year, she was elected as the Uganda National Students Union President (UNSA).

She later moved to NRM and contested for the chairmanship of the National Youth Council, which she won in 2015. She also became a senior presidential advisor on youth and served in other positions.

In January 2021, Aber successfully contested and won the Kitgum District Woman’s MP seat and she is one of Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba’s loyalists under the Patriotic League of Uganda (PLU).

Ms Phiona Nyamutoro, Minister of State for Minerals

Ms Nyamutooro hails from Nebbi District in West Nile. She went to Najjera Progressive for her primary school education and completed her O-Level and A-Level at Misanvu Secondary School in Kibinge Bukomansimbi and Maleku Secondary School, respectively.

She later joined Makerere University where she graduated with a first-class degree in Arts and she also holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the same institution.

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Between 2015 and 2016, she served as the vice guild president of Makerere University. She was also a member of the National Youth Council representing Nebbi District.

In 2021, she successfully contested for the seat of the National Female Youth MP on the National Resistance Movement (NRM) ticket and she is also an active member of the Parliamentary Education and Sports Committee.

Ms Florence Wamala Nambozo, Minister of State for Karamoja.

Born in 1975 in eastern Uganda, Ms Nambozo is a teacher by profession. Nambozo started her academic journey at Nkoyoyo Boarding Primary School in Buikwe District, and later completed her O-Level and A-Level at Nabumali High School in Mbale District and Makerere Day and Evening Adult School in Kampala, respectively.

In 2012, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree of Arts in Education at Kyambogo University. She is a former teacher at Aga Khan Education Services in Uganda.

In 2016, Ms Nambozo successfully contested for Sironko Woman MP, a position she retained in the 2021 General Election.

She now replaces the Bududa District Woman MP Agnes Nandutu as State minister for Karamoja Affairs.

Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi, Minister of State for Trade

He is a senior military officer in the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF). Until last week, he was the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) before being replaced by the First son, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba.

He joined the national forces in 1986. He had earlier attended military training at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the UK, Uganda’s School of Infantry, and Uganda Junior Staff College.

Gen Mbadi also went through further military training in Zambia, Tanzania, India, Kenya, and USA.

Between 2002 and 2003, he served in the Armoured Brigade Operations and Training office and later became acting commander of the Armoured Brigade. In 2005, he took full command of the 507 Brigade and in 2006, he served as the principal Air Staff officer (personnel and administration) at Uganda People’s Defence Air Force Headquarters.

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In 2007, he became Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the President, a position he held until December 2012 when he was appointed Commander of the 4th Infantry Division of UPDF based in Gulu. In the following year, he was appointed Joint Chief of Staff of the UPDF.

Dr Kenneth Omona, Minister of State for Northern Uganda.

Mr Omona was born on August 16, 1974, in Kaberamaido District in Teso Sub-region in eastern Uganda. His parents migrated from Acholi to Teso in the 1960s.

Mr Omona attended Kaberamaido Secondary School for O-Level, Teso College Aloet for A-Level before he went for a diploma in medicine at Mbale School of Clinical Officers. He later upgraded from Makerere University.

He served in several leadership positions during his academic journey. His political career became more strategic in 2008 when he mobilised the Acholi Students Association to meet the President.

He also served as the MP for Kaberamaido County on the NRM ticket in the ninth Parliament and later as NRM deputy treasurer.

At the time of his appointment as the state minister for Northern Uganda Affair, Mr Omona was the Principal Private Secretary of the President.

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