Inside State House: M7 Quizzes Top Aides Over Shs72m
President Yoweri Museveni last Wednesday grilled his Principal Private Secretary (PPS) Grace Akello and three other top State House officials over the disappearance of a staggering Shs72m.
Sources have told Chimpreports.com that a very angry Museveni quizzed Akello, Mariam Otengo (Presidential Secretary for Youth) and Barbara Bindeeba (Youth Desk) for over four hours for mishandling the cash earmarked for services of NRM youth leaders.
“These young men combed all corners of the country campaigning for NRM. Why haven’t you paid them? Didn’t I sign for the release of their money? What’s going on here?” a visibly livid Museveni charged.
A source said she had never seen Museveni in such a furious mood.
“As the President gnashed his teeth, the secretaries trembled with fear. He was not willing to listen to what he referred to as ‘nonsensical explanations.’ Instead he lectured them,” the source further noted.
HOW IT STARTED
In 2010, Museveni appointed a twelve-member taskforce headed by David Tumwiine Agaba and Bosco Mwesigye to mobilize support among the youth ahead of the 2011 elections.
The committee was also tasked with investigating misuse of funds sent to support NAADS activities especially in rural areas.
The President has the custom of sending parallel teams to investigate an issue to avoid receiving a report from a compromised unit of investigators.
In this case, the Tumwiine team was charged with seeking the common man’s views on the success and failures of the government-fostered project.
After completing the investigations, the youths handed over their file to the President’s covert office at the Development House in Kampala.
An impressed Museveni, subsequently, on November 13 2011 approved the Shs72m youth leaders’ payment requisition.
The President directed that Akello must ensure “immediate” pay for the youth.
Sensing something fishy, the youth stormed State House, Nakasero in search of Akello, who later chased them.
She argued that the youth’s pay was not highlighted in the 2011/12 State house budget, arguing they should wait for the next financial year.
It was at this time that the youth leaders sought the powerful senior political presidential advisor Moses Byaruhanga’s intervention.
Byaruhanga took the matter to Museveni.
That’s how the youth were called for a meeting with Museveni, Byaruhanga and the President’s secretaries.
Museveni expressed shock that the youth had not even received a coin. He suspected some one stole the money.
“Let’s say there was a delay. You should have received your money three months after I endorsed it’s release,” Museveni charged.
The youth clearly stated they only received Shs5m from the Internal Security Organization (ISO) boss Ronnie Balya for their investigative work.
The President said he would not tolerate secretaries who divide youth at a time he needs them most to boost the NRM popularity.
This is not the first time Museveni is getting complaints about Akello.
During the memorial service of Museveni’s mother Esteri Kokundeka in Rwakitura, Gen. Salim Saleh complained that Akello was denying him access to the President.
“Where did you get this secretary from? I have ten reports to give you but your secretary can not allow me to talk to you. She should have respect for some of us,” Saleh said, sending the First Family into a rib-breaking laughter.
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Updated on 2013-05-09 09:25
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