M7 orders CID, DPP to investigate Ministers for stealing Karamoja iron sheets

President Yoweri Museveni has used his long arm to direct the Criminal Investigation Directorate – CID – to probe theft of iron sheets that were meant for the vulnerable people in Karamoja sub region.

The iron sheets were distributed through the Minister for Karamoja Affairs, Goretti Kitutu.

Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga says the President ordered the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to institute a thorough and expeditious investigation that will see all implicated Ministers prosecuted.

While addressing the media on Monday at the police headquarters in Naguru, Enanga said the DPP has directed the CID and State House Anti Corruption Unit to carry out a joint investigation.

He says the security forces will work with other agencies already carrying out investigations to expand inquiries into the misappropriation of relief items especially the iron sheets.

“The president directed for an expeditious inquiry into the allegations and this followed increased complaints from the intended beneficiaries and other concerned citizens, We shall interact with all concerned personalities and liaise with sister agencies like the IGG and Parliament,” Enanga said.

On Sunday, the Inspector General of Government,(IGG), Beti Olive Kamya stated that her office had written to concerned cabinet Ministers including the Vice President, Prime Minister and others to give statements on the matter.

She stated that the summons would take effect starting this week but expand investigations to doing a life style audit on all those involved.

“I have already written to all of them those named in the papers and those whose names were found in the distribution stores of the OPM, from the Vice President to Prime Minister and all the ministers, they will explain their part. If there is reason and evidence to prosecute, or force someone to refund or confiscate property for those unable to explain. We can even do a lifestyle audit where necessary,” Kamya said.

M7 orders CID, DPP to investigate Ministers for stealing Karamoja iron sheets

In 2022, Parliament allocated an Shs 39 billion supplementary budget to purchase 100,000 roofing iron sheets and other relief items for the needy in Karamoja sub region.

According to officials at OPM, the Karamoja line Minister Mary Goretti Kitutu, requisitioned for 12,200 iron sheets from the stores to distribute to “vulnerable groups” during her “mobilization” drives in Karamoja.

However, officials from the State House Anti-Corruption Unit discovered the same iron sheets in Manafwa, being sold by Kitutu’s brother and mother.

Shortly after, a host of other ministers including Rebecca Kadaga, the the First Deputy Prime Minister, Speaker of Parliament Anita Among, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija among others affirmed receiving iron sheets they never requested for. Some have since justified it saying they have already distributed the iron sheets to needy groups in their own respective constituencies.

Last week, Kitutu issued a public apology and admitted that the distribution process was flawed with irregularities.

M7 orders CID, DPP to investigate Ministers for stealing Karamoja iron sheets

Compiled by Minah Nalule