MINISTER MUSASIZI: I NEVER STOLE KARAMOJA IRON SHEETS
By Ambrose Kweronda
Administrators of schools in the Rubanda district have trashed reports that they benefited from iron sheets which were obtained from the Office of the Prime Minister by the State Minister for Finance, in charge of General Duties, Henry Musasizi.
The iron sheets were supposed to be distributed in Karamoja as part of an affirmative action program for the area, which has been plagued by poverty, cattle rustling, and insecurity for a long time.
However, it turned out that various government employees had taken the iron sheets.
During the course of the scandal’s investigations, it became clear that the personal assistant of Mary Goretti Kitutu, the Minister for Karamoja Affairs, had instructed the Senior Inventory Officer at the Office of the Prime Minister on how to distribute the Iron sheets via WhatsApp messages.
Prior to the WhatsApp messages, Minister Kitutu stated that she planned to distribute iron sheets to vulnerable groups and reformed Karamojong warriors who are willing to dissociate themselves from rustling as part of the community mobilization and peace-building missions.
On February 8th 2023 the process which began on January 25, 2023, came to an end.
However, several government officials had already taken the iron sheets by the time it was suspended. State Ministers Joyce Moriku Kaducu, Rebecca Kadaga, Jacob Oboth-Oboth, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, Department Heads Amos Lugolobi and Henry Musasizi, Third Deputy Premier Rukia Nakadama, Government Chief Whip Dennis Hamson Obua, and State Minister for Agriculture Fred Bwiino Kyakulaga are among them.
However, Musasizi, who is also the Member of Parliament for Rubanda East, revealed over the weekend at a Church Choir Baptism Ceremony that he had submitted an application for 200 iron sheets to be used in schools’ roofs and delivered them to the Kakore Rugambwa Parish Priest’s office in Hamurwa sub-county, Kabale Diocese.
According to Rev. Fr. Herbert Agaba, the Kakore Catholic Parish Priest, his office received 200 pieces of iron sheets for roofing structures. Of these, 63 have been used at Bugiri Primary School, and 132 will be used to roof the classroom block at St. John’s Ikumba Primary School.
However, according to Sipriano Rwanzigu, the Deputy Headteacher of Bugiri Primary School, the school last received iron sheets from 2007 to 2017, when it was still part of Kabale District Local Government, according to our reporter.