Uganda to prosecute Karamoja minister over iron sheets scandal
Uganda’s public prosecutor has said they will charge a minister with corruption over the diversion of metal roofing sheets meant to help people living in the restive north eastern Karamoja region.
Prosecution of ministers for corruption is rare in Uganda, where stealing as well as the misuse of public funds and materials is routine.
In a remote region bordering Kenya and South Sudan, Karamoja region is home to pastoral nomads vulnerable to frequent droughts and deadly cattle raids.
Police arrested three close relatives of Karamoja Affairs Minister Mary Goretti Kitutu in February for selling metal roofing sheets branded with ‘office of the prime minister’, according to a report in the government-owned New Vision newspaper.
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Uganda’s Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) said late on Wednesday it would charge Kitutu with corruption and conspiracy to commit a felony for diverting iron sheets meant for the Karamoja Community Empowerment Programme.
Kitutu who will appear in court on Thursday could not be reached for immediate comment as her phone was switched off.
Appearing before a parliamentary committee last month, she asked for forgiveness for the mismanagement of the distribution of metal roofing sheets.