Iron sheet saga; thank you Karamoja leaders
DENIS MUGONZA WAGGUMBULIZI
The theft of relief iron sheets kept in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) stores meant for the Karamoja sub-region under the affirmative action programme has caught public attention. Several Government officials are accused of stealing the relief iron sheets for self-interests.
Among those accused of stealing the relief iron sheets are Cotilda Kitutu, Michael Nabwaya and Julius Wabule. The accused are the mother, brother and nephew of Minister of Karamoja Affairs, Goretti Kitutu. The three were discovered selling OPM-branded iron sheets to residents of Namisindwa district in Eastern Uganda.
Other members of the Executive arm, including Prime Minister Robinah Nabanja, Vice President Jessica Alupo and the Speaker of Parliament Anita Among, among others, received relief iron sheets.
In a statement issued on Friday 15th February 2023, eight (8) Members
of Parliament from the Karamoja Parliamentary Group accused the
Minister of Karamoja Affairs, Goretti Kitutu of diverting iron sheets,
goats and food intended for the Karimojong people.
The Members of Parliament said that their constituents had been affected by starvation and spates of insecurity. Led by their group chairperson, Remegio Achia, the MPs made four (4) prayers, which included the need for Parliament to investigate the issues through a relevant committee; that Kitutu and the Minister of State for Karamoja Affairs, Agnes Nandutu, step aside to allow proper investigation into the matter; that a forensic audit be done on both the procurement and distribution of goats and iron sheets to intended beneficiaries as well as the audit of food stores in Namalu Prison Farm, which food was meant to feed primary school children.
While appearing before the Presidential Affairs Committee which is investigating the Karamoja iron sheets saga, Mary Goretti Kitutu apologized over the diversion of iron sheets that were meant for the vulnerable people in Karamoja.
“This statement is being made in my capacity as Minister for Karamoja Affairs on the matter of iron sheets procured under my Ministry. “Without proper guidance, some iron sheets meant for Karamoja region were given outside the region in response to requests. This could have been an oversight but now that guidance has been given, this will not recur.” said Kitutu.
Personally, i was pleased by the kind of spirit and courage that the Karamoja leaders exhibited to press, Minister Kitutu and other members of the Executive organ to account for the iron sheets relief. It was a double effort and an indication that the Karamoja leaders do mind about the people who they represent.
The spirit of togetherness on regional matters portrayed by the Karamoja leaders reminded me of the Acholi and Lango leaders. Regardless of their political party affiliations, the leaders from these regions are mindful of their people and you will often see them come out strongly in public either to express their dissatisfaction or to demand for better service delivery, but which is never observed in other regions like Buganda and Busoga.
When shall we ever see all leaders in Buganda or Busoga regions demanding from Government better service delivery for their people or when shall these leaders express their dissatisfactions on what may be going on in their regions? Each one seems to be selfish, quiet and not minding about their constituents yet there is a lot that is not going on well in these regions. This is a disservice, a sign of disunity and selfishness.
Remember the persons in these regions who are being abducted and tortured everyday by armed security operatives moving in ‘drones’ but we do not see a joint effort by leaders in Buganda or Busoga pressing Government to release these political prisoners. Young men and women continue to rot in detentions either on trumped up charges or unknown charges. Other people are missing.
I am very certain that if these people were from Acholi, West Nile or Lango regions, they would now be out of detentions or jail because of the pressure that the leaders should have put on Government to release their people.
While in Buganda, leaders especially those subscribing to NRM are only seen praising their chairperson and asking him to lead up to death forgetting that their people are being abducted and tortured by people in state agencies.
A part from the members of Opposition who are condemning violation of human rights and demanding for the release of political prisoners, other leaders are quite and minding about their own businesses, and yet these are the people who they represent either in Parliament or at Local Government Councils. What is your use to the people who elected you or you are only serving an individual’s political interests? When do you lobby for your regions other than yourselves and families?
Starting with local leaders up to MPs, the Karamoja sub – region leaders at least showed that their people’s representatives and carry a mandate to serve their people diligently. They have put up a constructive fight to demand for justice, and their issue has become a matter of public concern which has continued to expose loopholes in Mr. Museveni’s Administration.
It’s high time the leaders in Buganda and Busoga regions picked a leaf from leaders in other regions. You must all be united and speak with one voice especially on matters concerning the people you lead. Do not cheat your constituents. Exercise your role and prove your worth as leaders. Lest what you are doing today is a betrayal, and your constituents shall continue to punish you like they did in the 2021 General elections if you do not act as expected.
Karamoja iron sheets scandal: Thank you, Karamoja Parliamentary Group.
Denis Mugonza Waggumbulizi | Advocate, Researcher & Entrepreneur
Iron sheets saga just tip of the iceberg – Karamoja MPs
“By the way, the story of the iron sheets is just a small thing; that of the goats is going to be even worse because out of 74,000 goats, less than 30% have been delivered." ...
IRON SHEETS BONANZA EXCLUSIVE! Full list of gov’t officials who shared OPM iron sheets leaks
The Minister for Karamoja Affairs, Maria Goretti Kitutu has been accused of mismanaging relief items allocated to her.
This was after Iron Sheets marked for Office of the Prime Minister were reportedly found at her relatives’ homes in Namisindwa where she is the district Woman MP.
However, this publication has exclusively learnt that Kitutu is not alone.
We have since established that a secret crack intelligence team ordered by President Yoweri Museveni has commenced investigations on who took and what and will demand full accountability.
We have learnt that the Iron Sheets were doled out last year and this year for political mobilization.
The central government through the OPM, released these Iron sheets to various politicians, district officials and as well church leaders regardless of the region.
The Iron Sheets of G-28 and pre-painted were meant for vulnerable households, interest groups, institutions (churches, schools, mosques, health centres).
And today we name some of the officials who benefited from this bonanza.
According to a list in our possession, Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja received 2000 pieces of Iron Sheets meant for vulnerable families in Kakumiro and neighboring districts. She is Kakumiro district Woman Mp. They were picked from the OPM using car registration number H4DF 334 on 7th January, 2023. The driver who picked them has been identified as Ntungwameisho Timiseo. Her PA, Bright Alinaitwe signed on her behalf as the receiver.
KARAMOJA MINISTER NANDUTU
The state minister for Karamoja, Agnes Nandutu received 2000 pieces of Iron Sheets. She is Bududa district Woman Mp. They were picked from the OPM using car registration number UAZ347B on 23rd June, 2022. Her PA, Evelyne Bazibu signed on her behalf as the receiver.
ETHICS MINISTER AKELLO
The state minister of ethics and integrity, Rose Lilly Akello, and also Karenga District Woman Mp took 800 pieces of Iron Sheets. On 15th June, 2022 she first picked 500 pieces using car registration number UBE 963S and signed for by her secretary Jane Namaganda. On 17 June,2022 car registration number UBH 347L picked up more 300 pieces and were still signed for by her secretary Namaganda.
The Speaker of parliament Anita Annet Among received 500 pieces of Iron Sheets. She is also Bukedea district Woman Mp. They were picked using car registration number UG0582Z on 25 June, 2022. The driver who picked them has been identified as Denis Matsiko.
One Amongi, a Head teacher at Bukedea Comprehensive School (BCS) received them on her behalf. They were also witnessed by one John Mwanje who is the school’s store keeper.
Vice President Maj. (Rtd) Jessica Alupo received 500 pieces of Iron Sheets. She is also the Katakwi district Woman Mp. They were picked using car registration number UBE 020L on 17th June,2022. Jacinta, an official in the VP’s office, signed as the receiver.
The minister of state for Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Amos Lugolobi received 300 pieces of Iron Sheets. He is also Ntenjeru North Mp (Kayunga district). They were picked using car registration number UBG430S on 15th July, 2022. His PA, John Allan Damulira signed as the receiver.
ST.PETER’S C.O.U PRIEST
Seiko David Serumbugu, the priest of St.Peter’s C.O.U, Kungu in Wakiso district received 150 pieces of Iron Sheets. They were picked using car registration number UBL 243H on 15th July, 2022.
CAO NAKAPIRIPIRIT DISTRICT
According to a list in our possession, on 29th December, the CAO Nakapiripirit district received 3,880 pieces of Iron Sheets meant for vulnerable households. They were picked using car registration number UG 0344Z/0345Z. The driver who picked them has been identified as Abudallah Sekimwanyi. Richard Arukor, the PA to Minister of State for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Davinia Esther Anyakun signed as the receiver. Still on 29th December, 2022, the same CAO Nakapiripirit district took 1120 pieces of Iron Sheets meant for vulnerable households. They were picked using car registration number H4DF 334. The driver who picked them has been identified as Ntungwamesho Timiseo. This is the same car and driver that picked PM Nabbanja’s Iron Sheets.
Still, Richard Arukor, the PA to Minister of State for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Davinia Esther Anyakun signed as the receiver.
Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija picked 600 pieces of Iron Sheets. He is also Member of Parliament for Buyanja County, Kibaale District. Vehicle registration number UBD 983V picked 300 pieces on 22nd June, 2022. A one Francis, a driver, signed as a receiver. On 20th January, 2023, Vehicle registration number UBD 649Q and being chauffeured by John Bosco Tumwine again picked 300 pieces. The minister’s PA, Emmanuel Mbabazi signed as the receiver.
The Minister for Karamoja Affairs, Maria Goretti Kitutu received 1500 pieces of Iron Sheets on 1st January, 2022. The same ministry she heads further received 1500 pieces on 17th June, 2022. Vehicle registration number UAP 343 V and being chauffeured by John Mubiru picked them. Finance Officer Winfred Ndagire signed as the receiver. More so, on the same date, Vehicle registration number UAS 561 P and being chauffeured by Patrick Basaliza picked 1500 pieces. Ndagire still signed as the receiver.
CHIEF WHIP OBUA
Government Chief Whip, Denis Hamson Obua picked 300 pieces of Iron Sheets. He is also Member of Parliament for Ajuri County -Alebtong district. Vehicle registration number UAS 494U and being chauffeured by J. Muke picked them on 1st February, 2023. His PA, Wilfred Mwesige signed as the receiver.
The Minister of State for Agriculture, Bwino Fred Kyakulaga received 300 pieces of Iron Sheets. He is also MP Kigulu County North-Iganga district. Vehicle registration number UG 2519A and being chauffeured by James Bwino picked them on 3rd February, 2023. One Susan Alupo (CDU) signed as the receiver.
The Minister of State for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Davinia Esther Anyakun got 300 pieces of Iron Sheets. She is also Nakapiripirit district woman Mp. Vehicle registration number UG 0795Z and being chauffeured by Rashid Kamoga picked them on 6th July, 2022. The same driver signed as the receiver. It should be noted that Richard Arukor, the PA to the same Minister had on 29th December, 2022, received 5000 pieces of Iron Sheets for CAO Nakapiripirit district meant for vulnerable households.
The Minister of State for Bunyoro Affairs, Jennifer Namuyangu got 300 pieces of Iron Sheets. She is also a Kibuku district Woman Mp. Vehicle registration number UBJ 720E picked them on 5th July, 2022. One Steven Aipikor signed as the receiver.
YOUTH MP KIRABO
Central youth Mp, Agnes Kirabo took 200 pieces of Iron Sheets. Vehicle registration number UBL 564Q picked them on 4th July, 2022. Her PA, Moses Kintu signed as the receiver
CAO MOROTO DISTRICT
The CAO Moroto district picked 1000 pieces of Iron Sheets. Vehicle registration number UG 0382Z and being chauffeured by Denis Matsiko picked them on 10th June, 2022. This is the same driver that picked Speaker Amongi’s Irons Sheets. Teko Christine, the Acting Regional Field Officer signed as the receiver.
CAO NAKASEKE DISTRICT/KINONI C.O.U
These received 200 pieces of Iron Sheets. Vehicle registration number UG 0382Z and being chauffeured by Paul Ssempijja picked them on 7th July, 2022. Ham Nahurira, the chairperson LC2, Kinoni signed as the receiver. Rev. Festo Mwebaze was a witness.
The State Minister for Finance (General Duties), Henry Musasizi took 200 pieces of Iron Sheets. Vehicle registration number UBL 497G picked them on 24th June 2022. His PA, Martin Turyagyenda, signed as the receiver.
More names of Iron Sheets bonanza recipients will be in our subsequent publication.
This could be a mother of all scandals at OPM and many top government officials will be exposed, a source knowledgeable on the course of the investigations told this publication.
The intelligence team is particularly interested in unconfirmed reports that some of the people mentioned in this list used some of the Iron Sheets allocated to them for private use like roofing their hotels and apartments!
Some observers are further intrigued by the criteria that was used to pick the beneficiaries given that almost most of the Ugandans are vulnerable.
According to the World Bank’s Quantifying Vulnerability to Poverty in Uganda analysis, about 50 percent of the population in Uganda is vulnerable to poverty.
Legislators from the Karamoja sub-region now want forensic audits conducted on both the procurement and distribution of these Iron Sheets to the intended beneficiaries.
They have also petitioned the Speaker of Parliament (who also ironically received 500 pieces) to institute a Select Committee to do an independent and in-depth investigation.
The Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Keith Muhakanizi has since requested the Karamoja Affairs Ministry to submit accountability of the Iron Sheets.