Molly Kamukama, the principal private secretary to president Yoweri Museveni has today disowned senior lands minister Betty Amongi over presidential directives to pay fake landlords billions of tax payers money.
Kamukama told Bamugemereire’s commission of inquiry into land matters that the directive which the minister Amongi relied on while defending herself before the commission recently was fake and that she failed to interpret the gist of the president’s order. She informed the commission that president Museveni’s directives were very clear. While explaining to the commission how the president issues out directives, Kamukama said that the president either calls those particular individuals on phone, writes to the concerned government official especially ministers and permanent secretaries letters or instructs his private secretary (Kamukama) to issue the directive on his behalf.
“My lord, my office receives over 300 letters a day, on some days, my phone even jams because of the people who want to make complains to the president. I always first read through the letters sent to the president and I decide which ones to forward to him.
My lord, I first brief him on the matter and the contents of the letter and he advises me on what to do next. Some days my lord I myself write to those ministers and at the end of my letter I indicate that they must follow the rules and regulations that govern their ministry and not just do things because the president has ordered,” Kamukama said.
On the matter of the payments that were made by lands minister Amongi following the president’s directive, Kamukama said that she wrote to her and copied in the finance minister Matia Kasaija, Keith Mwakanizi the secretary to treasury, Albert Mugumya the undersecretary Uganda land commission and Baguma Isooke the chairperson Uganda land commission. Kamukama told the commission that in the letter, she told Amongi, as the political head of the ministry to investigate and find out the truth on the complaint brought to the attention of the president by a one pastor Daniel Walugembe and Robert Mwesigwa.
Kamukama said that she told Amongi that Walugembe and Mwesigwa have complained to the president that they have sold their land at Buyaga and Bugangayizi to Uganda land commission but have not been compensated
She said that Walugembe and Mwesigwa told the president that they have mortgaged their properties including their homes to banks and the banks want to sell them off over noncompliance.
Kamukama told the commission that the president didn’t investigate the matter, so he instructed the minister to investigate. Kamukama however refuted allegations that the president told Amongi to pay them as Amongi claimed earlier before the commission.
Kamukama said that if they are to go by the true meaning of the directive, Amongi was supposed to first investigate the matter before any action was taken.
Kamukama wondered why the minister didn’t write back to the president to inform him of the findings from her investigation and also on whether the commission has the money to pay Walugembe and Mwesigwa.
Kamukama assured the commission that the president is very ready to implement whatever recommendations the commission shall make against the minister’s actions.
“My lord, the president is directly in support of this commission and I’m assuring you that he will put into consideration whatever recommendations you will make against any public officer not only the minister,” Kamukama said.
The commission is investigating minister Betty Amongi’s envolvement in over 8.6 billion shillings scam. Others include 13 billion shillings paid to Richard Buzibira a city lawyer and 100m shillings paid to Pius Bigirimana the permanent secretary ministry of Labour Gender and Social Development.
By Jamil Lutakome