WHO is lying about the recently-concluded national census: finance minister Gerald Ssendaula or agriculture state minister Ssebunya Kibirige?
The ministers yesterday confronted each other at the International Conference Centre, each accusing the other of lying.
At least 20 people, who included second deputy premier Brig. Moses Ali and UN agency representatives, witnessed the bitter exchange of words.
â€œYou are telling lies. You were counted but claim that you were not. We have all the evidence and even photographs were taken,â€ Ssendaula told Ssebunya after bumping into him on the corridor.
Ssebunya, the MP for Kyadondo North, refused to take the challenge hands down. He immediately shot back and insisted Ssendaula was the liar.
â€œYou are just giving people fake data. You are really a liar. If you counted me, where is the evidence?â€ he asked, pointing at Ssendaula.
Now it was Ssendaulaâ€™s turn to wag his finger at Ssebunya. â€œYour door was even marked after the counting. Wakiso district chairman Ian Kyeyune led enumerators to your home. You are telling lies. This is unfortunate for a minister,â€ he said.
Mumbling to himself, Ssebunya walked away to committee Room C where he had earlier launched the governmentâ€™s strategic intervention in the cotton sub-sector.
Ssebunya and Ssendaula were attending different functions but bumped into each other in the lobby.
Ssendaula, who was accompanying Moses Ali to a tea-break, walked over to Ssebunya and accused him of lying about the census.
Ali, who is also minister for disaster preparedness and refugees, the country director of the UN World Food Programme, Ken Davis Noah, and the permanent secretary in the Prime Ministerâ€™s office, Martin Odwedo, witnessed the â€œwarâ€ that lasted seven minutes.
Last week, Ssebunya questioned the accuracy of the census results, saying though he stayed at home for three days, no enumerators came to count him.
Ssendaula reacted saying that Ssebunya was out of order and wondered if he was after his job.
Ministers quarrel in public