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Speaker Among returns iron sheets as police, IGG swings into action

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Speaker of Parliament Anitah Annet Among has returned 500 iron sheets to the Office of the Prime Minister- OPM.

Speaking during the plenary, the speaker acknowledged receiving OPM iron sheets. She told the house that she has purchased 500 iron sheets to be returned to the OPM.

“l don’t want to be accused of grabbing iron sheets meant for the vulnerable people of Karamoja”. She said.

Among is one of the government officials who benefited from the iron sheets which were meant for underprivileged people in Karamoja. Others include ministers; Rebecca Kadaga, Jacob Oboth Oboth, Hamson Obua, Amos Lugolobi, Matia Kasaija, Karamoja Affairs Minister Mary Goretti Kitutu and others.

On Monday, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Jane Frances Abodo directed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to expeditiously investigate the Ministers implicated in the mismanagement of iron sheets that were meant to benefit the impoverished people in Karamoja.

The Inspector General of Government-IGG Betty Kamya said they have embarked on investigating the case against several ministers.

“I wrote to all of them especially those who have been written about in the newspapers and those whose names have appeared on the distributions list in the Office of the Prime Minister. From the Vice president to the prime minister, ministers and other individuals,” she said.

She said the ministers will be required to explain whether they asked for them or not and whether they followed the right procedures to get them.

Earlier this month, Kitutu confessed to diverting 3000 iron sheets that were meant for the unprivileged people in Karamoja.

Appearing before the Presidential Affairs Committee of Parliament Kitutu accepted responsibility for the mismanagement of iron sheets procured for the vulnerable in the sub-region.

“Some of the iron sheets were used to roof a boys’ dormitory in Situmi Primary School, Namisindwa district. The school lacked a store, hence storing them at a relative’s house,” she said.

She apologized to the committee and parliament noting that she was never guided about the project. Kitutu requested for 12,200 iron sheets to aid her in community mobilization and peace-building missions in Karamoja.

Her January 12, 2023, internal memo to the stores’ department at the OPM read in part, “During community mobilization and peace-building missions, I usually meet vulnerable groups and karuchunas (reformed warriors) who are willing to dissociate themselves from rustling. As part of my intervention, I will be distributing iron sheets to such special vulnerable groups.”

Last month, security operatives nabbed Cotilda Kitutu, Michael Nabwaya, and Julius Wabule. The accused are the mother, brother, and nephew of Minister Kitutu. The three were allegedly selling OPM-branded iron sheets to residents of Namisindwa district, in eastern Uganda.

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