Govt Contribution for Mutagamba Funeral Goes Missing Top story

3119 Views Kakuuto, Uganda

In short
It all started when the Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa declined to read a condolence message from the Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities Minister, saying the Shillings 13.5 million mentioned as the condolence fees was missing.

There was drama at the burial of late Maria Nakalema Lubega Mutagamba, the former Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities Minister at Gamba village in Kakuuto Sub County in Rakai district this afternoon. 

Hundreds of mourners gathered at Gamba village to send off Mutagamba who succumbed to liver cancer on Saturday last week, aged 65.
 
The former minister was given a three gun salute forcing several villagers to scamper for dear life because of the sound of the gunshots. However, the funeral didn't end without drama. It all started when the Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa declined to read a condolence message from the Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities Minister, saying the Shillings 13.5 million mentioned as the condolence fees was missing.

She tasked Prof Ephraim Kamuntu, the Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities Minister to take to the podium to explain the whereabouts of the condolence fees. In his response, Kamuntu said the money was given to the Treasurer who also reportedly passed it over to the Chairperson Uganda Tourism Board, Dr. James Rutaro.

Nankabirwa asked Kamuntu to call the said treasurer to present the money in vain. Instead Mutagamba's family, confirmed having received only Shillings 7million. Nankabirwa tasked the Minister to ensure the money is delivered to the bereaved family, saying she will not entertain corruption.
 
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Kamuntu declined to speak on the matter when contacted by URN shortly after the burial and simply jumped into his vehicle and drove off with his driver.

The failure by the Minister to present the money sparked off murmurs from the mourners with some shouting in Luganda "Ezo bazibbye ababbi abo, kitalo nyo abantu okubba amabugo" literally meaning, "the money has been stolen, those thieves, it's a pity for people to steal condolence money".

During the requiem mass, John Baptist Kaggwa, the Bishop of Masaka Diocese described the late Mutagamba as very exemplary. He noted that while many top government officials prefer to remain in Kampala, Mutagamba decided to return to her village to develop it.

He explained that Kakuuto lacked piped water but Mutagamba helped to extend it to her villages and beyond. Norbert Mao, the Democratic Party President noted that Mutagamba was one of the few remaining Ugandans who were professional. He noted that Mutagamba served Ugandans without ethnic bias.
 
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Other government officials who attended the burial include the vice president, Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, Sam Cheptoris, the Water and Environment State Minister, Members of Parliament, religious leaders and Buganda Kingdom officials. Mutagamba is survived by three children. 

 

About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.