Monday February 20 2012

Did Museveni fire the two ministers?

By John Njoroge

Contrary to what transpired in Parliament on Thursday, Prof. Makubuya and Ms Bbumba were actually fired by President Museveni over their role in the Shs142 billion Kampala markets compensation to city businessman Hassan Basajjababala, according to a Friday statement from the Uganda Media Centre.

The statement quoted the Leader of Government business as its source. Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi is the leader of government business in cabinet.

Third Deputy Prime Minister Moses Ali said he was not privy to the Media Centre statement. “I don’t know what you are talking about. You can only relate me to the statement I made in Parliament before the ministers spoke. I don’t know whether or not the President fired them,” he said.

While appearing before Parliament last week, the two former ministers announced they had resigned from Cabinet. The Media Centre statement, however, revealed the contrary. “The President has decided to relieve the two ministers of their ministerial responsibilities with immediate effect,” the statement said.

State House sources at the weekend said Mr Museveni met the two ministers at his Kisozi Ranch last week to inform them of his decision to fire them. The two reportedly pleaded innocent, blaming their actions on the chief government valuer and the Solicitor General. The duo, it seems, later hatched a plan to pull the rug under the President’s feet before the announcement was made. Ms Bbumba could not be reached for comment by press time as she was, according to an aide, in hospital. Prof. Makubuya’s known telephone number went unanswered most of yesterday.