Karamoja Iron Sheets: Minister Nandutu arrives at Anti-Corruption Court

Nandutu is part of the long list of ministers and MPs lined up for investigation over the iron sheets scandal that has left government struggling to save face.

The State Minister for Karamoja Affairs, Agnes Nandutu arrives at the Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo, Kampala on Wednesday, April 19, 2023. PHOTO/ COURTESY

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Minister of State for Karamoja, Hon. Agnes Nandutu has arrived at Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo to answer charges related to the alleged mismanagement of Iron sheets meant for the people of Karamoja.

Nandutu arrived at the court in Kololo at around 11 am on Wednesday, April 19, clad in a multicolour kitenge dress and greeted journalists with a warm smile before being taken away by counter-terrorism police officers into the dock.

The charges against the minister stem from an ongoing investigation into the iron sheets scandal, which has already seen two of her fellow ministers, Mary Goretti Kitutu and Amos Lugoloobi, arrested and charged.

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Police Deputy spokesperson CP Polly Namaye yesterday confirmed Nandutu’s arrest and said the minister who was detained at Kira Division Police Station in Wakiso was set to appear in court once her file is processed.

The minister had yesterday (Tuesday) handed herself over to the police at CID Headquarters in Kibuli in relation to the ongoing investigations about the iron sheets scandal where she was assigned detectives to take her statement.

“The file has been submitted to the office of the DPP for further guidance and possible sanctioning,” Namaye added in a police statement on Tuesday evening, adding “This action has saved the police time and resources, and it is worth emulating when in similar circumstances.”

The Bududa district Woman legislator becomes the third minister after Amos Lugoloobi and Goretti Kitutu to be held and arraigned before the anti-corruption over the mismanagement of the relief items meant for Karamoja.

Nandutu is said to have received a whopping total of 2,000 iron sheets she took from the Office of the Prime Minister and has been struggling to make accountability for the same ever since the sage became a news topic in the country.

Last week, she told journalists at parliament that she was looking for money to purchase the missing iron sheets following a directive from President Yoweri Museveni to Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, instructing ministers to return the diverted iron sheets.

However, DailyExpress authoritatively confirms that the minister had sought refuge at one of her sisters’ homes but later bowed to pressure after police spokesperson Fred Enanga on Monday said she risked being arrested if she did not honour the summons by the law enforcement body.

The minister’s case is the latest in a series of corruption scandals to rock the Ugandan government, with several high-ranking officials, including ministers and lawmakers, facing charges of fraud and embezzlement.

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The case has attracted widespread attention, with many Ugandans expressing outrage at the alleged diversion of resources intended for the country’s most vulnerable citizens.

More ministers implicated in the saga are expected to follow President Museveni’s directive issued in an April 3 letter stating that they refund the mabaati (roofing items) or the equivalent money in value. The ministers allege that Karamoja Affairs Minister Mary Goretti Kitutu sold them the idea to apply for the iron sheets.

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