KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Minister of State for Karamoja, Hon. Agnes Nandutu is today expected to appear in court to answer charges related to the alleged mismanagement of Iron sheets meant for the people of Karamoja.
Police Deputy spokesperson CP Polly Namaye yesterday confirmed Nandutu’s arrest and said the minister was under detention at Kira Division Police Station in Wakiso.
The minister has earlier in the day (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.
“This action has saved the police time and resources, and it is worth emulating when in similar circumstances,” she added.
The Bududa district Woman legislator is expected to appear in the Anti-Corruption Court on Wednesday afternoon where she would be arraigned before the court magistrate.
Nandutu becomes the third minister after Amos Lugoloobi and Goretti Kitutu to be held and charged over the mismanagement of the relief items meant for Karamoja.
This website exclusively understood that after hiding away from police since last Friday, the former NTV Uganda Reporter and News Anchor has reportedly switched off her phones and deserted her home in Seeta, Mukono to hoodwink detectives who had been assigned to apprehend her over the saga.
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 honor the summons by the law enforcement body.
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.
It remains to be seen if another minister will be arrested or summoned by the CID this week after Nandutu’s arrest as the scandal continues to eat up the big fish in President Museveni’s ‘fishermen cabinet’.
Kasaija Returns Iron Sheets
Relatedly, yesterday Minister of Finance, Hon Matia Kasaija returned what he labelled as “evil iron sheets” he received from Karamoja Affairs Ministry, under the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).
A representative for the minister returned the iron sheets to the Office of the Prime Minister’s store in Namanve Industrial Area.
While addressing journalists in Namanve, Mr David Kayongo, a senior assistant secretary for finance and administration at OPM who has been stationed at the OPM’s Namanve stores to oversee the process said Kasaija returned the iron sheets but were less by two.
“He brought back 298 out of the 300 iron sheets. He has promised to bring the balance,” Mr Kayongo said.
Kasaija is the latest minister to return iron sheets after Speaker Anita Among, State Minister for Finance and Planning Amos Lugoloobi and State Minister for Defence, Jacob Oboth-Oboth.
The Speaker’s team returned 500 pieces while Lugoloobi and Oboth-Oboth returned 600 and 300 iron sheets respectively.
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 iron sheets had been budgeted for in a Shs 39 billion supplementary budget that Parliament had passed in December 2021.
The alleged diversion attracted uproar from the public prompting parallel investigations including from police and parliament to probe the saga.
The ministers allege that Karamoja Affairs Minister Mary Goretti Kitutu sold them the idea to apply for the iron sheets.
As Kitutu is currently out on bail after being charged and remanded at Luzira prison over the saga, are panicking that they might face court over the same scandal.
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