Shortly before 10 a.m. on Wednesday, an old white Mitsubishi Pajero, 1982 model, attracted the attention of onlookers as it drove into Parliament’s south wing parking lot.
Moments later, a visibly frail man emerged with an aid that supported him to walk into Parliament. Journalists quickly identified him; Magode Ikuya, the designate state minister for East African Community affairs.
Quickly, Parliamentary protocol officers led him to a room where he was linked via Zoom, to the Appointments Committee that has since Monday been vetting President Yoweri Museveni’s appointees to his 2021 – 2026 cabinet.
It is not clear why despite being within the precincts of Parliament; he was not taken to the conference hall in the basement of the Parliamentary buildings to face the vetting committee.
The 74-year-old member of the National Historical Forum could hardly move on his own and depended on support from close friends and relatives such as Geoffrey Ekanya, the Tororo North MP and his Tororo South counterpart, Fredrick Angura.
Magode, who spent a very short time with the Appointments Committee, due to his ill health later answered questions from journalists including on his poor health. He held on to the podium on the verandah of parliament as he spoke to journalists. Magode told journalists that as a normal person, there is no reason why he shouldn’t be sick at his age.
Magode will be serving with the former Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, who is now the 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Affairs.
Before the return of multiparty politics in 2005, Magode served as the Director for Mass mobilization in the then movement secretariat and District Commissioner Mbale. He has been writing a weekly column in the government-owned New Vision.