When junior lands minister Persis Namuganza appeared before the Parliamentary committee inquiring into the diatribe she launched against the Kyabazinga of Busoga William Gabula IV and the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, she wept.
Why did Persis Namuganza weep? “Since those incidences happened, I cannot take water from our own home. Our own family; because she got people, my brothers and gave them money,” Ms. Namuganza said amid seemingly uncontrollable sobs.
But back in Bukono Chiefdom, Chief Godfrey Mutyaba Nkono, the cultural head of the family she was referring to, was watching and upset, he picked the phone and rang Eagle Online at around 6:30pm and went into a 45 minute litany about Minister Namuganza and her ‘heritage’.
“My brother I don’t know what has come over that girl (Ms Namuganza). She has never been our sister. As I speak to you we have finished writing a letter to be sent to the Kyabazinga distancing ourselves from her and narrating our family lineage to the Kingdom’s cultural head,” he said.
“But she is a princess and she says she is a daughter in the family of the chief of Bukono, I imagine you are denying her because you have personal issues with her since she also questions your enthronement as Chief. She thinks you simply were forced on the family and the people of Bukono ahead of your elder brothers, the EagleOnline prodded.
He laughed and said: “First, she not from the Ngobi clan where my family belongs. She is from the Muganza clan as her named clearly shows. She has never been a princess. Living with royals can never make you royalty.
“Her father was a herdsman called Ndimulodi from Bugwe who tended to cows in the Bukono’s chief’s palace. Unable to take care of her, he asked for help from our father who took her in and even tried to educate her.”
He further said: “Her first claim to be our family member was when my dad, in an attempt to give her a good life, asked the president, in one their chiefs’ meeting with him, to get for her ‘daughter Namuganza’ a job and that is how she got appointed deputy RDC for Luwero.”
Over a fortnight ago, Chief Mutyaba invited the Speaker of Parliament to Bukono as chief guest at the swearing in of the Chief’s cabinet.
Unhappy with the Speaker’s presence, Ms Namuganza, being the area MP, was peeved. She accused the Speaker of installing an illegitimate chief let alone being in her constituency without her invitation.
According to Ms Namguganza, the Speaker’s presence in Bukono was an affront on what she perceived to be her lordship over all matters Bukono. Annoyed, she went into a tirade overdrive attacking both the Speaker and the Kyabazinga of Busoga— she called on those loyal to throw stones at the duo calling them ‘merchants of discord’.
“Speaker Kadaga was never in Bukono to install me as Chief. That is the work of traditional and they already did. We invited the Speaker to just come as a chief guest.
“That girl (Namuganza) was opposed to the event because she claims I appointed people who are her political enemies as my ministers. She tried to stop the swearing on different occasions by asking intelligence to write reports to the police and army chiefs that I was swearing in FDC people and recruiting rebels. The President even sent people to verify and when it was found to be false we were cleared to proceed with our ceremony,” he said.
The ‘untraceable’ condolence money
When Godfrey’s father, Chief Christopher James Mutyaba Nkono, fell sick in 2013, the President saw in Ms Namuganza a close link through whom to channel any kind of help to the family.
“That was the first time I started hearing her confidently calling herself our sister. But a few months to my father’s death, he summoned me to his hospital bed and asked everyone, including that girl (Namuganza), to go outside.
The only people who remained there were his family and my dad introduced to me all his children including those he said were being doubted. He asked me to always take care of them. My dad never mentioned Namuganza,” Chief Mutyaba Nkono, said.
According to Chief Mutyaba Nkono, relations between their family and Ms Namuganza got strained after the old man died.
“The President gave her shs30 million to bring to us as condolence but that girl (Namuganza) came and started being tough at the funeral. She gave our three mothers shs1 million each and us the children two hundred and fifty thousand shillings and she disappeared with close to shs20 million. None of us followed her up.
“When we collected from among ourselves Shs2 million to finish our fathers’ grave we looked for her and trusted her as someone with political status. We gave her the money and asked her to look for someone to come and do the job. She disappeared with the money and since 2013, the first time she returned to our home was this year when she came to quarrel over the cabinet I had appointed,” he said.
According to the Bukono Chief, Minister Namuganza started crying the day she was summoned to Bukono by the late chief’s first wife and reminded about how she came to be associated to the family.
“My mother called her here and told her that she had quickly kicked the ladders she used on her way to top. She told her that everyone will be watching her to see how she will come down. She told her to stop claiming to be part of the family because she had abused the chief’s help. When she heard those words she started crying before her security guards,” he said.
Ms Namuganza could not be got for comment. Her phone number, with a call back tune of Judith Babirye’s Ndi Survivor (I am a survivor), went unanswered.
She did not also respond to WhatsApp and SMS messages we left on her cellphone.
The message read, “This is the editor of Eagle Online. I would to get your response on a series of statements Chief Mutyaba has made against your involvement with their family including but not limited to the statement that you have never been their sister and that you even disappeared with the shs2 million they had collected to finish their father’s grave, not to mention the Shs30 million the President gave as condolences. That your father was actually one Ndimulodi, a herdsman.”
This story will be updated with her comment the moment she gets back to us.