24 February 2024

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North's First

Speaker Among commended in the East for returning scandalous Karamoja iron sheets

Anita Among told parliament recently that she had already bought iron sheets to replace those she received for Karamoja people
Akii Bua

Speaker of Parliament Anita Among. Courtesy photo.

Last Updated on: 17th March 2023, 02:03 pm

The diverted iron sheets meant for the vulnerable people of the semi-arid Karamoja sub-region continue to dominate debates among people from all walks of the country.

Some top government officials including Vice President Jessica Alupo, Speaker of Parliament Anita Annette Among (AAA), Prime Minister Robinah Nabanja, and other Ministers received the iron sheets which have been widely condemned.

Others who also benefitted from the misallocation include Moriku Kaducu (200), Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga (500), Jacob Oboth Oboth (300), Hajjat Rukia Isanga Nakadama (300), Matia Kasaija (300), Mary Goreti Kitutu (Chief Distributor) (3,000); Denis Ham Okson Obua (300), Amos Lugolobi (300) and Fred Bwino Kyagulaga (300).

Agnes Nandutu (2,000), Rose Lilly Akello (800), Jessica Alupo (500), Davinia Esther Anyakun (300), Jennifer Namuyangu (300), Agnes Kirabo (200), Henry Musasizi (200) and CAOs of a few districts.

The head of government business, Nabanja received 2,000 pieces. 

According to the information available, the iron sheets were shared using WhatsApp messages generated by the Minister in charge of Karamoja Affairs Mary Goretti Kitutu who asked colleague ministers to send their Personal Assistants to go and pick.

When the scandal came to the surface of the wild mainstream and social media platforms, Kitutu apologized and owned up to the mistakes which she blamed on a lack of technical guidance.

The scandal was sparked when family members of Kitutu were found in possession of the iron sheets meant for the Karamoja poor people.

The relatives are Cotilda Kitutu (mother), Michael Nabwaya (brother), and Julius Wabule (nephew) who were found happily selling the OPM-branded iron sheets to residents of Namisindwa district.

Karamoja
Chief Distributor and Karamoja Affairs Minister Goretti. Courtesy photo.

President Yoweri Museveni who is equally angered by the scandal has now ordered the CID, State House Anti Corruption Unit to criminally investigate the matter and bring suspects to account before a court of law.

On Wednesday, Among became the first among the high-profile government officials to take responsibility. She told parliament she had already bought 500 iron sheets to replace the ones that were wrongly given to her by the OPM’s Chief Distributor.

Now, some NRM youth in the eastern region have welcomed the remorseful gesture exhibited by Among whom they describe as “exemplary and honest”, unlike others who are busy defending themselves.

Asuman Kambo is the NRM National Youth Coordinator in charge of Eastern Uganda. He has heaped praises on Among for admitting that it was wrong to take donations meant for the vulnerable people in Karamoja.

“…she went another step to use her personal money to buy the same number of iron sheets and returned to the stores of OPM so that the right target group can benefit,” Kambo who is a staunch supporter and promoter of MK Project in the region said.

In any case, Asuman Kambo argued that the speaker donated the iron sheets to needy community projects with visible accountability, unlike others who used them for private projects.

With apparent reference to a recent tweet by the Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Operations Gen Kainerugaba Muhoozi who condemned the theft as shameful, Kambo is challenging the NRM leaders to re-examine themselves on the question of corruption.

“…theft of taxpayers’ money and corruption have continued to be a thorny issue on the flesh of NRM putting to waste the great achievements the party has done in the last 37 years…,” Kambo laments.

Asuman Kambo has vowed to mobilize fellow youth from all parts of the country to campaign against all the errant politicians who will fail to either return or pay back the iron sheets misallocated to them.

He also says they are monitoring vigilantly all the politicians implicated in corruption and abuse of office which always frustrate service delivery to the people of Uganda.

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