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.
Kamya reiterated that apart from President Yoweri Museveni, no government official is immune from prosecution by her office as long as there is evidence of a crime.
On Saturday while attending the inauguration of Sheikh Ramadhan Mulindwa as the Kadhi of Luwero District, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja said she donated her share of the iron sheets to people in Kakumiro.
She noted that the Minister who diverted the iron sheets to other areas must answer and be held accountable.
Recently, the Police also revealed that it will summon the Ministers to defend themselves in the scandal.
The Presidential Affairs committee has already interfaced with the implicated officials over the same. According to reports from the IGG, Uganda loses Shillings 10 trillion in corruption each financial year.