By Francis Lubega
23rd March 2023
Ministers named in the Karamoja iron sheet saga have submitted their defense to the Inspectorate of Government as the office starts investigations into the scandal.
A number of top government ministers and legislators benefited from the iron sheets meant for vulnerable households in Karamoja sub-region.
Key on the list is the Vice President Jessica Alupo, Speaker Anita Among, Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja, First Deputy Prime Minister, Rebecca Kadaga, Karamoja Affairs Minister, Goretti Kitutu, Third Deputy premier Rukia Nakadama, Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija and the State Minister for Primary Education Moriku Kaducu.
The others are Finance State Minister, Amos Lugoloobi, Government Chief Whip, Hamson Obua, Junior Agriculture minister, Bwino Kyagulaga, Karamoja State Affairs Minister, Agnes Nandutu, and the Central Youth MP, Agnes Kirabo among others.
Several Ministers and Speaker Anita Among have repeatedly defended themselves in the media, saying that they never applied for iron sheets but only got calls from the Office of the Prime Minister asking them to pick their share.
Among has since returned the 500 iron sheets, saying that she didn’t know that they were meant for poor people in Karamoja.
Despite this, the Inspector General of Government, Beti Olive Kamya has commenced investigations into the scandal, which has since generated outrage from various Ugandans. According to Kamya, she wrote to the implicated ministers to defend themselves within seven days explaining how they got and used the iron sheets from the OPM.
She says that the implicated officials have since complied and submitted their defense as part of the ongoing investigations into the matter.
She, however, says that they decided to widen the investigations into all relief items that were bought and distributed by OPM within the past two financial years.