Karamoja leaders demand Minister Kitutu’s resignation after mother, brother were caught selling relief items
Leaders in Karamoja have asked for the immediate resignation of the Minister for Karamoja Affairs, Goretti Kitutu her mother and brother were arrested by police for allegedly selling relief items meant for the area she is in charge of .
The leaders said the incident is “ a complete shame” that items meant for Karamoja are being diverted under a senior minister’s watch.
“I am so pained and disgusted by the theft of items meant for Karamoja. This is what happens when you put people, callous, and selfish to deliver the mandate of the government. She needs to resign,” Remigio Achia, the chairperson of the Karamoja parliamentary group told the Nile Post.
Nakut Faith, the woman MP for Napak district who poured out her frustrations on twitter said the minister is starting to get defensive instead of admitting fault.
“Hon. Minister I have watched your explanation on National TV, it is not adding up, it is so offensive to the people you have defrauded, it doesn’t say why you diverted the iron sheets.”
Peter Ken Lochap MP for Bokora East said “the biggest obstacle to liberating Karamoja from poverty is not the regional members of parliament but wrong ministers appointed to manage the affairs of Karamoja.”
Police over the weekend arrested the minister’s mother, a brother and a nephew who were found in possession of government-owned iron sheets that were meant to be given to residents in Karamoja as relief items.
According to a source, the operation to arrest the group was masterminded by Internal Security Organisation (ISO), the Police and the State House Anti-Corruption Unit found exhibits of the items at the family’s home before arresting the trio.
It is said that on arresting the family members, Minister Kitutu made frantic calls to plead for the mother urging that she should be pardoned due to her frail condition and old age.
In October last year, the LC5 chairpersons of Karamoja in a joint letter notified the Prime Minister about the absence of iron sheets procured for distribution in Karamoja.
“We wish to report that the districts partly received the goats and we are waiting for the balance. As for the iron sheets, nothing has been delivered,” the letter said in part as the leaders requested for the intervention of the office of the Prime Minister
It is not clear whether the Prime Minister took any action although the letter seen by Nile Post indicates that it was received by OPM.
“This is a sign that we are united against any possible diversion of relief items meant for the Karachunas.”, Paul Lotee Komol, LC5 Chairperson Kotido said on Tuesday..
The NRM Vice Chairperson for Moroto district, Christine Akot said the Office of the Prime Minister should also take keen interest in reports that the minister in question is promoting nepotism.
“We hear most of the service providers especially in the recent supply of goats to Karamoja were her relatives,” Akot said.