Betty Amongi Akena Ongom, is Uganda People’s Congres (UPC) Member of Parliament representing Oyam South Constituency in the war torn region of Northern Uganda.
She has been in Parliament since 2001, and in unprecedented turn of events she was appointed cabinet Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development despite her UPC affiliations.
Her appointment ignited discomfort both in UPC and NRM as the former questioned her links with the ruling party while others saw it as strange for President Yoweri Museveni to entrust an opposition leader with a sensitive ministerial docket
Amongi was born in Oyam District, Lango sub-region on 15th November 1975 and entered Makerere University in 1996, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and public administration. Later in 2009, she was awarded a Master of Arts in International relations and Diplomatic studies.
She shot to limelight in 2012 having defied her party president then Ambassador Olara Otunnu on calls to step down as party chief whip in Parliament. This was a result of an internal revolt orchestrated by UPC MPs to forcefully remove Otunnu from leadership.
Amongi spearheaded a move which was deemed illegal by Otunnu faction and summoned a delegates conference which sat Lugogo Cricket Oval in Kampala and denounced his presidency.
Since then she had been at loggerheads with The Otunnu Administration and revelations started emerging how she a mole working undercover for the NRM establishment.
On 6 April 2013, Betty Amongi married Jimmy Akena, the member of Parliament for Lira Municipality and president of the opposition Uganda People’s Congress.
Akena is the son of Milton Obote, the two-time former Prime Minister and President of Uganda. The traditional marriage took place in Minakulu sub-county, Oyam District and was attended by, 32 members of parliament and Museveni, a friend of the couple, also attended the wedding.
The President’s presence in Oyam ratified to UPC –Otunnu group that indeed Amongi was a State Agent.
Her ministerial appointment sealed suspicion and proved to the ‘doubting Thomases’ that Amongi works for Museveni.
An insider in UPC and close ally of Amongi told this news website that she was recruited into the much feared security facility Internal Security Organisation (ISO) after joining Makerere.
“While she was at Campus in 1996, it was just 10 years after NRM had taken power but it still faced internal resistance and mostly from UPC especially northerners. Makerere University was full of UPC radical students who kept denouncing Museveni,” a source said.
She was approached and agreed to work as an undercover for ISO spied on students who were lead protesters of the regime.
“And indeed she did her job well and managed to identify those naughty students who were political influencers and NRM managed to neutralize them,” a source added.
Adding that, when the Obote Family returned to the country from exile and resumed intense political activity, Museveni got worried because this is a party that had been in power twice and still had cells across the country.
The State then asked Amongi to step up the game and defuse the system.
“At first it was hard for her since it was the Obote family (mama Miria Obote and his son Akena) actively engaged in the leadership,” a source said.
The coming of Ambassador Olara Otunnu in 2010 further a spanner in the works since he was globally connected.
A source said that, but because Otunnu and Obotes failed to agree on the presidency, this gave Museveni a chance to deploy Amongi- ISO agent to destabilise UPC by wooing Akena into NRM.
Presently, Akena is a an ally of Museveni who has helped to keep him at Uganda House (UPC head offices) after deploying gun wielding officers to avert any possible raid by Otunnu faction.
In the previous election Akena announcement his coalition with Museveni.