KAMPALA-UGANDA/NEWSDAY: As investigators continue to scour for evidence in the alleged theft of relief items including iron sheets for Karamoja, the culprits will have to prepare for a 17-year jail sentence if effectively prosecuted for the offenses of theft and abuse of office.
The President directed for an expeditious inquiry into allegations of theft of iron sheets and other relief items that were meant for Karamoja but shared by his cabinet members.
In a statement on Monday, police spokesperson Fred Enanga said investigating teams include Director of Public Prosecution, the CID working jointly with State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SH-ACU).
“The joint team shall expand on the preliminary inquiries so far conducted and further liaise with IGG and Parliament on the same matter. The team shall interact with all the concerned personalities to ensure an expeditious investigation,” Enanga said.
The iron sheets are part of the mismanaged Shs39b Supplementary Budget meant for goats and iron sheets for the Karacunas (armed youth). The SH-ACU headed by Brig Henry Isoke exposed the alleged theft of the iron sheets and other relief items meant for Karamoja. A couple of members of the family of line minister Mary Goretti Kitutu who is the alleged orchestrator of the scam were arrested.
Other officials on the spot include the country’s top leaders among the them the leader of government business and Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja and her deputy, a former Speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga.
Fingers are also pointed at the Vice President Jessica Alupo and the current Speaker Anita Among who has instituted a Parliament Committee to investigate the saga.
A number of Cabinet ministers, including Finance Minister Matia Kasaija acknowledged receiving the iron sheets but denied they never asked anyone to supply them. One of his deputies in charge of Planning in the Ministry of Finance, Mr Amos Lugoloobi, recently removed pre-painted iron sheets off an animal house on his farm, calling them “evil”.
The key suspect who is the Karamoja Minister Mary Kitutu has already apologized. Her deputy Agnes Nanduttu is also pinned. Ms Davinia Esther Anyakun, the State minister for Relief, Disaster and Refugees.
The officials are being investigated for theft and abuse of office. The maximum punishment for the offense of theft under section 261 of The Penal Code Act is ten years’ imprisonment while abuse of office created under Section 11(1) of the ACA, 2009.
“A person who being employed in a public body or a company in which government has shares, does or directs to be done an arbitrary act prejudicial to the interest of his or her employer or of any other person, in abuse of the authority of his or her office, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding seven (7) years or nine (9) fine not exceeding one hundred and sixty eight currency points or both.” The penal code reads of the offence.
The beginning of criminal inquiries come ahead of President Museveni expected address to Parliament tomorrow Thursday which is expected to be dominated by the NSSF saga, theft of Karamoja iron sheets, the economy and the censure of Minister Namuganza.
Who took what?
1. The state minister of ethics and integrity, Rose Lilly Akello, and also Karenga District Woman Mp took 800.
2. The state minister for Karamoja, Agnes Nandutu received 2000 pieces. She is Bududa district Woman Mp.
3. The Speaker of parliament Anita Annet Among received 500 pieces of Iron Sheets. She is also Bukedea district Woman Mp
4. Vice President Maj. (Rtd) Jessica Alupo received 500 pieces of Iron Sheets. She is also the Katakwi district Woman Mp.
5. The minister of state for Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Amos Lugolobi received 300 pieces.
6. Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija picked 600 pieces of Iron Sheets. He is also Member of Parliament for Buyanja County, Kibaale District
7. Government Chief Whip, Denis Hamson Obua picked 300 pieces. He is also Member of Parliament for Ajuri County -Alebtong district
8. The Minister of State for Agriculture, Bwino Fred Kyakulaga received 300 pieces. He is also MP Kigulu County North-Iganga district.
9. The Minister of State for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Davinia Esther Anyakun got 300 pieces. She is also Nakapiripirit district woman Mp.
10. The Minister of State for Bunyoro Affairs, Jennifer Namuyangu got 300 pieces. She is also a Kibuku district Woman MP.
11. The State Minister for Finance (General Duties), Henry Musasizi took 200 pieces.
12. The Minister for Karamoja Affairs, Maria Goretti Kitutu received 1500 pieces
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