AN INTELLIGENCE dossier dated August 2, 2012 has revealed deeply rooted intrigue at the Entebbe based department of Land Surveys & Mapping.
The four page report is titled “Investigations into the academic qualification and alleged corruption by Mr. Nsubuga Modhafer Kajumbula Commissioner Surveys & Mapping.”
The investigation was done after bosses at the Lands Ministry and Public Service Commission became split on the matter. Public Service secretary, Richard Enyomu had received two anonymous letters disputing Kajumbula’s qualifications. The authors doubted his master’s degree in Surveying & Mapping from the University of East London. Enyomu wrote to lands Permanent Secretary Gabindade Musoke seeking clarification on Kajumbula’s qualifications.
The anonymous letters, suspected to be authored by staffers at the department, came after public service appointed Kajumbula the Commissioner Surveys and Mapping.
He had been acting since the departure of former Commissioner Lawrence Justine Bwogi who is now Director Land Management at the Ministry. After reading the intelligence reports and knowing the outcome of the interview, President Museveni indicated his no objection to PS Public Service Jimmy Lwamafa to go ahead and appoint Kajumbula on a two year renewable contract.
Having clocked 60, Kajumbula was supposed to retire but Gabindade preferred that he stays ostensibly due to lack of qualified and sufficiently experienced people at the department to take the job. Sources revealed that State House gave its no objection to Kajumbula’s appointment because of his warm relations with President Museveni.
Kajumbula is one of the Baganda who hail from the same place with the like of Gordon Wavamunno. He has been Museveni’s right hand man on complex issues like Migingo islands and recent demarcation of the 80 square kilometer stretch of land in Buliisa for the oil refinery. He led the Ugandan team of surveyors who worked with Kenya and the international community to resolve Migingo island row. He would update Museveni almost on daily basis.
“The President already knows his expertise and didn’t want to lose him to retirement at this crucial moment in history when we are moving into oil,” sources said adding that there is anxiety in government that DR Congo will soon be making territorial claims in the Albertine region. This could create conflicts which will require Kajumbula’s surveying & mapping experience and expertise to resolve.
Having got State House’s no objection, Lwamafa has indeed gone ahead to sign Kajumbula’s two page contract. He reveals the contract is renewable subject to good performance.
Things Fall Apart
The re-appointment hasn’t gone down well with Kajumbula’s juniors at the department, some of whom felt it was their chance. They have been writing anonymous letters bashing Gabindade for sticking to Kajumbula whom they accuse of under qualification and impropriety. We have seen two anonymous letters alleging mismanagement of vehicles, land in Bwebajja and Sango Bay Estates. At the same time both the Permanent Secretary, Gabindade and the intelligence report, on which Kajumbula’s re-appointment was based, exonerates him of any wrongdoing.
The intelligence report says there is a lot of intrigue at this all important department and urges the President to independently probe into why there is infighting. There is also a report by the IGG exonerating Kajumbula of all allegations. One of the anonymous letters claims that there is one Dr. Yafesi Okia (PhD) who is more qualified than Kajumbula but the intelligence report points out that he is an intriguer and not as experienced and hands on as Kajumbula.
Okia, who has previously been battling Botanical gardens-related issues, also teaches at Makerere university.
At the ministry he is at loggerheads with his supervisors including the PS. He is believed to despise all the others because he has a PhD. He is now assistant commissioner, Deputising Kajumbula. Gabindade hasn’t taken chances. He has been investigating alleged distortions in Kajumbula’s qualifications.
On May 24, he prompted Bwogi, the Director, to contact the University of East London where Kajumbula got his Master’s degree in Surveying & Mapping. In his mail of June 16, the University’s Academic Registrar Micheal Stuart Pizer confirmed that Kajumbula was indeed their student. As part of background check, ISO operatives also did the same before State House gave it’s no objection to Kajumbula’s contract. In his internal memo to Gabindade, Bwogi points out that despite lacking a Bachelor’s degree in Surveying and Mapping, Kajumbula is still the best to head the department.
He says although its vital to have bachelor’s degree in surveying, “even somebody with a degree in cartography, photogrammetric or remote sensing” can head the department.
Bwogi adds that though his first qualification was a diploma in cartography, Kajumbula has since acquired many qualifications in surveying & mapping. These include trainings at Japanese Geographical Survey Institute whose Director General Akira Yaguchi confirms Kajumbula was their trainee up to July 2005. The other qualification is from International Institute for Aerial Survey & Earth Sciences in Netherlands. He also has one from Entebbe Survey Training Institute besides another on GPS surveying obtained from College of Land, Infrastructure & Transport in Japan which was signed by Director General Tsutomu Yamada.
He also has qualifications in Project Cycle Management obtained in 2004 in Saitama Japan. He also has certification by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) from Tsukuba International Academy. Bwogi adds that Kajumbula is also a certified fellow of the Institution of Surveyors of Uganda. That isn’t all. He was also among those who founded the surveying and mapping programme at Makerere’s faculty of technology.
Critics say Kajumbula, who is supposed to oversee recruitment of district surveyors, hasn’t met their expectations. He controls all field activities related to land surveying. Critics claim he is a cartographer and not a surveyor but the Ministry of Lands’ bosses including the PS and Bwogi insist he is a good officer against whom they have never received any complaints pointing to incompetence or lack of professionalism.