Uganda’s Tourism Ministry has trashed reports that money contributed to the funeral arrangement of fallen former minister, Maria Mutagamba had gone missing.
The dismissal is contained in a statement issued Thursday morning by Godfrey Kiwanda, the state minister for Toursim, stating that reports of ‘missing mabugo’ should be ignored.
There had been reports on social media claiming that money contributed through the ministry had gone missing. Mutagamba succumbed to liver cancer last Saturday.
However, the funeral on Wednesday 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.
Now, the ministry says reports of the ‘missing mabugo’ are ‘malicious.’
Below is the full statement
RESPONSE FROM THE MINISTRY OF TOURISM, WILDLIFE AND ANTIQUITIES
In response to media reports on “missing mabugo”, this is to clarify the following:
The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities and her Agencies contributed a total of *UGX13.8m* towards the funeral expenses of the late Hon. Dr. Maria Mutagamba.
The details are as follows:
This money was given in bits and on several occasions: Ngamba and UWEC gave their contributions at Rubaga Cathedral on Monday, and the rest of the money was given at the burial on Wednesday by the Ministry.
The family of the late Dr. Mutagamba recorded and announced the receipt of all this condolence money.
We ask those spreading these malicious “missing mabugo” rumours to respect the dead and desist. This information can easily be checked with the family of the late.
Hon. Mutagamba was passionate about tourism and her death is a tragic loss to the sector and our country. May her soul rest in eternal peace.