Major General Kahinda Otaffiire is the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, a ministry in the eye of the storm, whose top leadership received part of the now controversial Shs6 billion, shared out among 43 top public servants last August.
However, much as Gen. Otafiire is the line minister, he didn’t partake of the ‘oil cash bonanza’ like his deputy who at the time doubled as Deputy Attorney General Fred Ruhindi and Attorney General, Peter Nyombi did. Otafiire reportedly advocated for salary increments for the officials.
Indeed, EagleOnline has reliably learnt that whereas discussions were going on soon after the Ugandan government won the case against Heritage Oil and Tullow Oil companies, and the US$434 million proceeds deposited in the government coffers, a rift erupted over how to reward those that had participated in the process.
A source said different options were put forward on how to reward the officials and among them was that instead of rewarding individual persons, there was a proposal to construct either schools or hospitals in localities where such individuals hail from and such facilities be named after their sons or daughters. However, this proposal was flatly rejected.
Gen. Otafiire and Eng. Muloni miss out on booty
Another impeccable source said Gen. Otafiire, who is the political head of the Justice and Constitutional docket, is reported told have suggested that instead of rewarding a few top individuals, the reward should instead be given in form of salary increment for all in the ministry. This line was equally rejected and this marked the end of Otafiire attending meetings, the source said.
“Gen. Otafiire shouldn’t lie to you that he was opposed to the oil cash bonanza but what I remember is that his argument was that instead of giving a few (people) money and yet majority had participated, all people in the ministry and other departments involved in the negotiations should instead get salary increment,” the source told this website.
Further, the source said that soon after Otafiire abandoned the meetings, discussions were left to the Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary Keith Muhakanizi, former Attorney General Peter Nyombi and the Commissioner General of Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Doris Akol, all of who are reported to have okayed the Shs6 billion ‘presidential handshake’ for the ‘chosen few’.
“We as heads of units that were very vital in this process attended but we were surprised to see a few ‘chosen ones’ being rewarded. This was the work of Nyombi and the two because those who were opposed to their line of thinking were left out and it is good that they are facing the wrath of the public and they should vomit the money” said a source who sought anonymity.
Asked for his comment and why he missed the booty despite being the line minister, Otafiire said: “That is nonsense and I am not bothered whether I got or I didn’t get because I will not die.”
Another official who was reportedly sidelined and ‘never knew anything until the scandal broke out’ is the Energy and Mineral Development minister Eng. Irene Muloni.
According to another source that spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, Eng. Muloni was sidelined by the top bureaucrats at finance ministry and URA.