MPs Move To Censure Minister Over Alleged Diversion Of Relief Items Meant for Karamoja


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Members of Parliament (MPs) from Karamoja Sub-region have launched a process to censure the minister-in-charge of Karamoja Affairs, Ms Mary Goretti Kitutu, over allegations of diversion of relief items meant for vulnerable communities in northeastern Uganda.

This latest move by the MPs came after weeks of investigations into the alleged diversion of relief items, which revealed that Ms Kitutu had been diverting iron sheets and other supplies meant for Karamoja to non-intended beneficiaries, and thus amounting to mismanagement and abuse of office or willful violation of oath of allegiance or oath of office.

Yesterday, the MPs submitted to the offices of the Speaker and the Clerk to Parliament a notice of motion to censure, the first step in the process of censuring a minister, as provided for under rule 109 of the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure. According to the notice, Ms Kitutu is accused of failure to deliver iron sheets and other supplies meant for Karamoja to support the ongoing disarmament exercise and the diversion of some items to non-intended beneficiaries.

Parliament in 2021 passed a Shs39 billion supplementary budget to procure 100,000 iron sheets for disarmed youth and the vulnerable in the sub-region, but these have not been delivered to date. The diversion of these items has led to frustration and disappointment among the vulnerable communities in the region who have been looking up to the government for support.

Ms Faith Nakut, the Woman MP of Napak, said they opted for a censure after a request to the President to have the minister transferred to another docket was not granted.

“Given that, we have been forced to do what is required of us as leaders from the region, and so we have given a notice for a censure motion so that the minister will be forced to leave the office she has abused. We want to commit to the people of Karamoja that we will continue to do everything within our means to see they get the justice they deserve,” she said.

The MPs have accused the minister of misusing Shs25b meant for the procurement of goats that were to be distributed across the sub-region, as well as picking 500 bags of maize seeds from Namalu Prison stores, under the Feed Karamoja Project, 200 bags of which were allegedly found in her house. These allegations have further fueled the MPs’ resolve to censure the minister.

While other ministers and senior government officials have been named to have benefited from the diversion, Ms Kitutu, being the head of the afflicted docket, is now at the center of the latest storm to rock the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).

Details from OPM show that Ms Kitutu walked away with 3,000 pieces of iron sheets.

Efforts to reach Minister Kitutu for her side of the story have been futile, as her known phone numbers were unavailable by presstime, and she has not issued a public statement since news of the alleged diversion of iron sheets meant for Karamoja surfaced a fortnight ago.

Earlier this month, the State House Anti-Corruption Unit allegedly arrested relatives of the minister who were found with the iron sheets. Sources indicate that these were released on bail, as investigations into the scandal, with the cooperation of OPM, continued.

The MPs have also punched holes into PM Robinah Nabbanja’s defense of her docket. Ms Nabbanja in a letter said not all the iron sheets in question were meant for Karamoja. She said various ministries procure items, including iron sheets for specific intervention to address gaps in livelihood and infrastructure. “The minister for Disaster has put a disclaimer that his minister did not procure any iron sheets.

The Ministry of Teso has been in charge of implementing various development projects aimed at improving the lives of the people in the region. Over the years, the ministry has been involved in various initiatives such as improving infrastructure, promoting agriculture, health, and education among others.

One of the notable projects implemented by the Ministry of Teso is the construction of the Teso Development Hub. The hub is a modern facility that provides various services such as conference rooms, exhibition spaces, and office spaces to entrepreneurs, government agencies, and NGOs in the region.

This project has helped to boost business activities in the area, providing a platform for entrepreneurs to showcase their products and services.

The ministry has also been involved in improving infrastructure in the region. This has included the construction and rehabilitation of roads, bridges, and other transport networks. These projects have helped to improve connectivity within the region and facilitate the movement of goods and services, thereby boosting economic growth.

In the health sector, the Ministry of Teso has been involved in various initiatives aimed at improving the quality of healthcare services in the region. This has included the construction of new health facilities, equipping existing facilities with modern medical equipment, and providing training and capacity building to healthcare workers.

The ministry has also been involved in promoting agriculture in the region. This has included providing farmers with training and extension services, improving access to markets, and providing agricultural inputs such as seeds and fertilizers. These initiatives have helped to increase food production in the region, reduce food insecurity, and boost the incomes of farmers.

Overall, the Ministry of Teso has played a critical role in improving the lives of the people in the region. Its initiatives have helped to create jobs, boost economic growth, and improve access to basic services such as healthcare and education.

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