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Mulira takes on another role in IT sector PDF Print E-mail

By James Wire

On 6th March 2009, Mr. Aggrey Awori took over the ICT ministry from Dr. Ham-Mukasa Mulira the pioneer minister for the ministry that was created in 2006.

It was a speech of a humble beginning (no office space, no structures or furniture) to a fully-fledged ministry and many achievements from the outgoing minister.

At the hand-over ceremony Mr. Awori said he was happy to be taking over from able hands and said unlike his predecessor he will only be a political head not both a political and technical leader like Dr. Mulira.

The more ‘hands off eyes on’ Havard graduate said “Being a non-techie in ICT he would rely on the technical people in the ministry because they are the experts. However, he promised that when it comes to parliament he could  get them enough funding.

“When it comes to parliament I will fight for you to get whatever you want because that is familiar ground,” said Awori who was in parliament for years as the former MP for Samia Bugwe north.

This is what the IT community said about Dr. Mulira

From Parliament:

Hon Edward Baliddawa, chairman ICT committee in parliament as told to IN;

We have worked very closely with Dr. Mulira especially recently finalizing the NITA Bill. He has also been working tirelessly for the long awaited cyber laws.

He was a wonderful person to work with very knowledgeable and such a resourceful person to our committee which made my work as a chairman much easier because it is a committee of very many concepts.  Dr. Mulira has great fondness for ICT and will forever play a key role in the IT industry.

From IT consumers:

I think the period he has served is not enough to assess someone’s performance but being a non political person put him at a disadvantage because he failed to lobby for some of these bills to be passed on time in parliament. That will give Awori an edge over him.

From the blog world:

The morning of Tuesday 17th February 2009 will forever remain etched in my memory.   I was online by 5:00 am to catch up with the news of the day only to come across a screaming article about the reshuffle of the cabinet ministers.

I quickly browsed through; my major concern was whether the ICT ministry had been affected. What I saw broke my heart for a while ...  Dr. Ham-Mukasa Mulira had been relieved of his position as Minister for ICT. All this just after over two and a half years of serving this nation!

It is unfortunate that cabinet positions in many countries are offered mainly on the basis of one’s political influence and constituency.   If the yardstick had more to do with performance and abilities, then in my view, Dr. Mulira was the best performer of the last cabinet.

He is always a man of firsts. He set up the Uganda Computer Services, which was to later metamorphose into the National Information Technology Agency (NITA).   From there, the President gave him the unenviable task of setting up the ICT ministry.

So many were the challenges and they are well documented in the local press, but above all, despite the teething problems faced, he has been able to keep his head high and make that ministry one of the most corporate in nature.

Bureaucracy is something that is less common in this ministry and I hope this legacy continues.   He is a man that is unassuming and does not seek attention like many non-performing politicians do.

Time keeping is a virtue he seems to have been born with and honestly, he can be very impressive while at it.   He seems to me to be quite a strong-headed person and will always try to push through something that he believes in.   On the scale of arrogance he scores very low that you may mistake him for having been a student of The Lord Jesus Christ in the School of Politeness.   These are virtues that are not characteristic of many Ugandan politicians and Government Officials.

In a short span, a number of projects were started up by the ministry, which is still pushing through a number of bills needed to prepare Uganda for the global electronic super highway.   They are all at various stages within Parliament and it is just a matter of time before they are passed.   It is a pity that the sea cable will reach East Africa and not find him ready to launch it in his capacity as Honorable Minister.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that the President found it right and fitting to make him a Senior Presidential Adviser on ICT.   So, all is not lost.   However, it just makes me uncomfortable because the president hardly meets his advisers and some have been heard complaining about lack of access to the very President they are supposed to advise.

All said and done, Dr. Mulira you will forever remain a champion of ICT in this country and other than wait to say all this when God has called you, I rather use this opportunity.

May the new Minister, Hon. Aggrey Awori be able to accomplish what you started and even take us to another level.



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