The animosity and bad-blood that has been brewing between the State Minister for Defence and Lands, Housing and Urban Development Minister, Betty Amongi has finally and shockingly reached President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni – the Commander in Chief [CiC] of the Armed Forces who also appointed them.
This contemporary news website can authoritatively report.
On Saturday, 18, August, 2018, Col P. Charles Okello Engola Macodwogo, the Oyam North Member of Parliament utilized an opportunity at a thanks giving prayer in his constituency to accuse his political nemesis, Betty Amongi before president Museveni who was the Guest of Honor.
However, Betty Amongi who is currently in the United Arab’s Emirates city of Dubai – on official assignment did not attend that function.
Col. [rtd] Okello Engola in his opening speech told the president that a minister whom he did not mention her name directly has diverted a hospital project that was supposed to be constructed in his constituency – specifically Iceme sub-county by Syno-Hydro, a company currently undertaking the construction of Karuma Satellite City and power dam.
This was part of Syno Hydro’s Cooperate Social Responsibility offer.
“Your Excellency, the problem here in Oyam is that we have a hospital given to us by the ministry of energy…….,” the hoarse voice minister begun his speech. “But there is a minister who I think is very sharp, I think and she claims to be very close to you…. the minister has written to the Prime Minister saying you have directed her to remove that hospital from here,” Minister Okello Engola added.
Reading from his face, Museveni was aghast about the statement.
Okello Engola further told the president that the Oyam district local government went ahead to secure hundred acres of land for the hospital project offered by Syno Hydro but the minister in question wants it constructed in Oyam South which he says has two government hospitals.
He also justified that establishing the hospital in Iceme would be pivotal because it’s a central point that would be accessed by patients from the districts of Oyam,Omoro,Apac and Kole.
After this allegation, President Museveni immediately summoned health minister Dr. Jane Aceng Ocero who was also present at Tegony primary school where the function was held apparently for technical advice on the matter and the two talked briefly.
Later in his address to locals of Iceme, Mr Museveni without much explanation promised that he would follow up the matter to its logical conclusion.
When Syno-Hydro declared its intention to construct a hospital in Oyam through the Ministry of Energy, it tasked Oyam district local government to avail them with adequate piece of land.
How the scramble for the hospital was birthed
TND News Uganda understands that Syno-Hydro made it clear that the hospital would be constructed within the project area, this by default, favored Kamdini sub-county in Amongi’s Oyam South constituency.
But in an earlier interview, Oyam district LC5 chairman, Mr. Nelsons Adea Akar said Council in its wisdom, settled on Aber in Oyam South and Iceme in Oyam North which was fronted as optional locations for the contested hospital project.
Syno-Hydro, according to Adea, then, inspected both lands and eventually agreed on Iceme. This then became the first battle line between the two political heavy weights in Lango sub-region – who each wanted the hospital constructed in their constituencies for political capital as 2021 polls nears.
The company later wrote to the district on a change of plan from Iceme to Aber in Oyam South Constituency, a move that angered Col. Okello Engola and thus delayed the construction of the hospital.
When contacted for comments on the allegations heaped on her by Col Okello Engola on the diversion of the hospital, Amongi texted back to TND News Uganda saying, ‘I’m out of the country in Dubai.’
Meanwhile, in his address to Oyam North Constituents, as usual, Museveni asked the Wanahinci to embrace modern and commercial farming methods and to use the Operation Wealth Creation [OWC] methodology of four acres. Mr. Museveni told locals that they can take on enterprises like fruits, dairy cows and other food crops for prosperity.
“The NRM has strategically worked on improving literacy, roads, energy and clean drinking water. These days when I’m flying my helicopter, I ought to be careful because there are electric wires everywhere,” Uganda’s President since 1986 remarked.
Several dignitaries among them senior army officers, ministers and MPs who included Ajuri County MP, Denis Hamson Obua, Tony Ayo (Kwania), Felix Okot Ogong ( Dokolo South) Santa Alum Ogwang ( Oyam Woman MP) attended the thanking event.