UGANDA, Karamoja | Real Muloodi News | President Museveni has ordered an inquiry into the alleged theft of iron sheets and other relief items meant for the Karamoja Region, in response to increased complaints from the intended beneficiaries and concerned citizens.
The Director of Public Prosecution has directed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to work jointly with the State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SH/ACU) to conduct a criminal investigation into the matter.
Joint Team to Investigate Alleged Theft
A joint team comprising officers from the DPP, CID and SH/ACU will investigate the alleged theft. The team will expand on the preliminary inquiries conducted thus far and liaise with the Inspectorate of Government (IGG) and Parliament regarding the same matter.
The team will interact with all concerned parties to ensure a speedy and thorough investigation.
Background to the Saga
The minister-in-charge of Karamoja Affairs, Ms Mary Goretti Kitutu, has found herself in hot water after being accused of failing to deliver essential supplies meant for Karamoja and diverting some of the items to non-intended beneficiaries.
In an internal memo dated 12th January 2023, Ms Kitutu wrote to Geoffrey Sseremba, the undersecretary for finance and administration at the Office of the Prime Minister, requesting 12,200 iron sheets for affirmative action in the Karamoja region. The iron sheets were intended for vulnerable people in the region, but it appears that they never reached their intended recipients.
Instead, the iron sheets ended up in the hands of ministers and top government officials. By the time Sseremba became aware of the situation and wrote to stores’ officials to stop the distribution, 5,500 out of the 12,200 iron sheets had already been given to these high-ranking individuals.
The list of new beneficiaries included ministers Moriku Kaducu, Rebecca Kadaga, and Jacob Oboth Oboth, among others. Amos Lugoolobi, the state minister of finance in charge of planning, also admitted to receiving 600 iron sheets, some of which he used to roof an animal shed on his farm in Kayunga district.
The diversion of supplies meant for vulnerable people in Karamoja has sparked outrage among Ugandans, with many calling for Ms Kitutu to be held accountable for her actions. Some have also criticised the high-ranking officials who accepted the iron sheets, arguing that they should have known better than to accept supplies intended for vulnerable people.
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