By Henry Nsubuga
Agriculture minister Tress Bucyanayandi this week clashed with the former chairman of the National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS) board, Dr. Mwalimu Musheshe.
This was at the opening of the National Farmers Forum delegates’ conference at Colline Hotel in Mukono town.
He accused Bucyanayandi of blackmailing former members of the board whose term expired on May 29 last year.
Musheshe said Bucyanayandi had accused the board of being corrupt and losing direction. He said as a result, the board’s term of office was not extended.
A bitter Musheshe referred to a letter dated December 19 which Bucyanayandi reportedly wrote to the Prime Minister, saying the board was corrupt and a ‘non-performer’.
He said Bucyanayandi blackmailed the board because the members refused to give one of his relatives the job of executive director.
“Bucyanayandi called me twice asking me to give his cousin the job. Unfortunately, he did not have the required qualifications. So, we gave the post to another person. That is when he started accusing us,” Musheshe said.
He said his board fought corruption at the secretariat and unearthed a lot of management problems.
He disclosed that before his board assumed office, money was always kept at the centre instead of sending it down to districts.
He said by the time he assumed office, over sh700m was lying on the accounts in Kampala, instead of being sent to the districts.
“Some staff members were also putting huge sums of public funds on personal accounts. I made sure the habit stopped,” Musheshe disclosed.
Bucyanayandi said it was very difficult to extend the board’s mandate because some members were corrupt and not working well with his ministry.
He said they cleaned up the secretariat by recruiting new people and were now trying to have a better board.