Former Ethics and Integrity minister, Miria Matembe, has threatened to drag government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo, to courts of law for slandering her husband.
A bitter quarrel broke out on Thursday night when the two were appearing on NBS TV “Frontline” programme to discuss the proposed scrapping of the presidential age limit.
It all started when Matembe castigated Opondo for allegedly enjoying Operation Wealth Creation [OWC] cows-heifers given to Ugandans to end household poverty.
“I saw on TV that Ofwono allocated himself Operation Wealth Creation cows,” Matembe criticised the Uganda Media Centre boss for being “greedy”.
Opondo was prompted to return the said cow he received under Operation Wealth Creation after an uproar from district councilors in Mukono.
The councilors were unhappy that the some of the cows, which were meant for the poor people in the community, were given to financially stable people like Opondo.
Opondo says the cow was given to his wife, adding that he had never applied to be a beneficiary of the OWC programme.
After being stung again on a live television show, Opondo went on the offensive and slandered Matembe’s husband, Nekemiah Matembe, for sleeping with a house girl.
“You suffered similar things; people used to tell you that your husband slept with the house-girl,” Opondo completely lost it.
Fuming in her usual no-nonsense manner, Matembe told Opondo to quickly apologise and withdraw his statement or she sues him for defamation.
“I’m going to court, don’t joke,” she said.
“I hope it’s not true,” Opondo went personal.
Matembe spat back at him: “You must withdraw that statement right now! I’m going to court.”
The Matembes-an old love affair
Dr Miria Rukoza Koburunga Matembe and Nekemia Matembe have four sons in an over 37 year-old marriage.
In 2013, the outspoken former Woman Member of Parliament for Mbarara District told Daily Monitor that many men hate her for always picking on them.
She first met “the original Matembe” at her cousin’s bachelor party in 1973 at Old Kampala.
Miria was at the university at Makerere and Matembe had just returned from Scotland where he had been to pursue further studies, and he had noticed Miria too.
On July 12, 1975, after Matembe plucked the courage to ask her to be “his friend for life”, they were married.
Matembe admits that like all marriages, theirs has had its ups and downs too, but their secret has been making the time to resolve their issues amicably.
Nekemia Matembe, who studied biological sciences and brewing, is a retired chief brewer at the Uganda Breweries where he served in different capacities for 30 years.
Born in 1945 in Rubiriizi village, Bushenyi District, Matembe is a former student of Ntare School.
He proudly points out some of his reputable Old Boys.
“I went to school with the likes of Presidents Kagame and Museveni, the late Kategaya, and Dr Dikuz,” he told Monitor.
Matembe joined Uganda Breweries when he returned from Scotland. His retirement reward, in appreciation of his hard work, was an acre of land on which their home sits.
In 2014, Miria told New Vision her husband has been very supportive and accommodating and she does not regret the choices she has made.
“Our home is a typical African one. The doors are always open,” Miria told the state-run newspaper.
“It is not limited to biological children. You do not need an invitation card to come for dinner or lunch. That is what makes me what I am politically and socially.”