PARLIAMENT: The Minister of Karamoja Affairs, Hon. Mary Goretti Kitutu has apologised over management of iron sheets meant for Karamoja region.
Kitutu who was on Friday, 03 March 2023 appearing before the Committee on Presidential Affairs admitted that the iron sheets meant for the vulnerable people of Karamoja were distributed “without proper guidance.”
“Without proper guidance, some iron sheets meant for Karamoja region were given outside the region in response to requests. This could have been an oversight but now that guidance has been given, this will not recur. Any inconveniences and embarrassments caused is highly regretted,” Kitutu said.
“I pray that you and all Ugandans accept my sincere apology,” she added.
Kitutu said she will present a separate statement to the President and the entire executive in regard to the same.
The committee chaired by Hon. Jesca Ababiku has been probing the circumstances under which relief items such as iron sheets found themselves in the hands of ministers under the watch of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).
During the probe, committee legislators queried how the Minister of Karamoja gave out iron sheets without following proper guidance, while the committee chairperson sought clarification on whether all the beneficiaries requested for them.
Ababiku also asked the minister to provide a detailed list of all the people who benefited from the iron sheets.
“I summarise the minister’s statement as a statement of apology on the mismanagement of iron sheets meant for Karamoja. But we need a detailed write-up on how the iron sheets were mismanaged and also we need a list of those who made the requests because most of the beneficiaries say they did not make any requests for the iron sheets,” Ababiku said.
Budadiri East County MP, Hon. Isaiahs Ssasaga tasked the minister to explain how some of the OPM branded iron sheets found themselves in private hardware stores.
Hon. Denis Onekalit (FDC, Kitgum Municipality) said Kitutu’s apology is irreverent until the minister provides details of the people who benefitted from the iron sheets.
“The minister’s apology is not coming at the right time. It demateralises our investigations. We, first of all, need to know who received the iron sheets and how many did each beneficiary receive,” he said.
Kitutu asked for more time to present a detailed report of the beneficiaries but proposed the list is provided in confidentiality without the media.
This request was thrown out by the committee chairperson saying the list of beneficiaries is already in the media.