Kitgum Municipality MP Beatrice Atim Anywar downplays reports that by joining the government front bench, she has betrayed the opposition. She says that her involvement with the opposition was not a marital engagement that should not be broken.
Anywar, the designate minister of state for environment, made the remarks moments after interfacing with the appointments committee of parliament which was vetting new members appointed into the cabinet by President Yoweri Museveni last month.
Once approved by the committee, she will preside over the same sector she was so critical of, during her time in the opposition, earning her a name; Maama Mabira, from her campaign to, save Mabira Forest, part of which had been allocated to Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited (SCOUL) for sugarcane production.
Her first hurdle in the posting is a plan to construct a dam in Murchison falls, a which has so far met a lot of resistance from opposition groups, environmentalists and animal rights activists. The government has already cleared a feasibility study for the project to be undertaken by a South African Energy Firm Bonang Power Energy Ltd.
Today, Anywar told journalists that she is now bound to defend the cabinet decision on the matter but hastens to add that she will be frank to give the government her independent view on a number of issues. She says her appointment as a Minister cannot stop her from protecting the environment.
According to Anywar, the President appointed her on the basis of her capabilities, and she hopes that her new positing can enable her to replicate the struggle that saved Mabira forest. Anyway explains that a number of the alternative policies that she presented while serving as the shadow minister for the environment were taken up by the government and have since been implemented, which on one hand empowers her to protect the environment.
“I used to speak from the roadside, we protested and many things happened. Now if the President says you who has been shouting over the environment, why don’t you come and do it from here. I think now it’s the time to protect the environment and land” Anywar says.