GEN M7 ASKS NEWS PS: WHY IS YOUR FATHER SUCH A BAD MAN HATING ME SO MUCH?
Gen YK Museveni is a man who knows how to crack a good joke and can sometimes be very hilarious. This is exactly what was at display recently when First Lady/Education Minister Janet Museveni summoned new Permanent Secretary Ketty Lamaro to State House to discuss some urgent matters relating to the education sector.
Lamaro, who was as of that time still serving as Under Secretary under the mentorship of PS Alex Kakooza, didn’t know the big man from Rwakitura was actually leveraging on her well expressed views during that same meeting/engagement to assess her suitability for elevation to PS role. Gen Museveni keenly looked at her and said: “My daughter you have shared very helpful ideas which can help us to improve service delivery in the education sector and I also hear you are hardworking and not involved in corruption tendencies. And Mama here likes you very much and keeps making good comments about you just like she does with Permanent Secretary Alex Kakooza but the only problem is your father [sounding jocular and sarcastic]. That man Livingstone Okello-Okello hates Museveni banange. Why is he always criticizing and saying only bad things about Gen Museveni and NRM? It’s the reason I consider him to be such a very bad man otherwise you, as his daughter, you are very okay.”
The country’s chief executive insisted Lamaro didn’t have to answer but the graceful technocrat from Kitgum insisted she had to say something in return. And as Janet looked on, wearing a relaxed smile, Lamaro collected her guts and said: “Your Excellence I really don’t know. He is your fellow politician which is why I suggest he should be the one to answer for himself why he keeps criticizing your government but as for me, I consider him to be a good guy notwithstanding what he thinks about the NRM’s way of governing.” That briefly is Ketty Lamaro, a technocrat in her late 40s who Gen Museveni recently named new PS for Ministry of Education.
She had been at Education serving as Under Secretary under the mentorship of Alex Kakooza who she has since replaced. Kakooza, who is relocating to the Presidency to serve as PPS in charge of the Vice Presidency (the very capacity in which Lucy Nakyobe served then VP Gilbert Bukenya before Gen Museveni elevated her to become his State House Comptroller and now head Public Service), did on Wednesday hand over to Lamaro at a ceremony that was presided over by JC Muyingo another blue eyed boy of the First Family.
Before becoming Under Secretary at Education, replacing Aggrey Kibenge who was elevated to become PS Ministry of Gender, Lamaro previously served as one of the three Under Secretaries at the Office of Prime Minister (OPM). Having previously worked at OPM as Minister in charge of Karamoja Affairs, Janet had closely worked with Lamaro as she served as Under Secretary responsible for that very Karamoja docket. When Aggrey Kibenge, who worked well with her left for bigger assignments at Gender, Janet requested that Lamaro becomes her new Under Secretary at the Development House-based Ministry and that exactly is what happened.
Lamaro (whose father Senior Citizen Livingstone Okello-Okello is a diehard UPC, former civil servant at the Lands Ministry and former Chua County MP in Kitgum) had a brief stint working in State House/the Presidency before becoming Principal Administrative Secretary (PAS) for the Ministry of Ethics & Integrity where Okello Bwangamoi was her Permanent Secretary. She is highly qualified both in terms of experience and academic qualifications some of which she got from the prestigious Uganda Management Institute (UMI) where she first graduated several years ago. The young lady from Acholi is also reputed for being incorruptible and for having the appropriate values and work ethic. Intriguingly, she isn’t married. Neither is she known to have any biological children.
Her father (now an old man in his late 70s or early 80s) is one of the very principled old UPCs who have over the years consistently said no to Gen Museveni. Okello isn’t only a congressman of the Olara Otunnu caliber but also actively despises the brand of politics Jimmy Akena and his wife Betty Amongin have been playing. Asserting its unacceptable betrayal to late Milton Obote to hand over UPC and Lango to serve Gen Museveni’s political interests, Okello-Okello considers the Akenas the greatest traitors of our time. He is among those who believe that all the genuine congressmen and women who are still surviving should never forgive the Akenas for disgracing Milton Obote’s name in such a manner. We believe with extreme certainty that this is the context in which Gen Museveni casually referred to his new PS Ketty Lamaro’s father as “a bad man.” (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at email@example.com).