Betty Amongi, wife to Uganda People’s Congress leader Jimmy Akena, is the State Minister for Lands in the new government.
Reacting to her appointment on NBS TV Tuesday, Amongi said the appointment was a surprise.
“I didn’t see it coming. I see it as a challenge; serving a nation is not easy,” she said.
Amongi said there was no agreement signed between UPC and NRM during the elections as earlier alleged.
She said The Democratic Alliance, a coalition of opposition political parties ill-treated her prompting a drastic measure.
“How TDA treated some of us led me into supporting President Museveni.” Amongi said the next 10 years are critical in Uganda’s democracy and since President Museveni has built institutions of this government, he cannot be excluded in the transition.
“There can never be transition without engaging President Museveni. I expect to engage from within.”
She defended the president for appointing her saying politics was not static.
“Yes I am a member of UPC. The president can appoint a minister from within Parliament or outside Parliament. Politics is not static. Even Dr Milton Obote started UPC through alliances. Engagement is important to build consensus.”
Amongi said there are no fundamental differences and contradiction between NRM manifesto and those of other parties namely; UPC, FDC.
She, however, pointed out that her appointment came at a ‘wrong time’ given that she recently received a Yale leadership fellowship.
Speaking on her new docket, Amongi observed that Land is a means of survival in Uganda because the economy of Uganda is anchored on land.
“This sector is a key. We need to secure the land tenure system. If possible, we need to digitize land titles.”
She noted that there is need to secure security for land for marginalised groups like women and children.
“I don’t expect miracles but we will sit down and come up with a framework that protects land rights of all parties, rich or poor. There are policies and bills on land that are due for presentation before Parliament.”