Cabinet minister in Uganda arrested over stealing iron sheets

The arrested minister reportedly diverted the iron sheets meant for poor people to give them to her relatives who were caught selling them off

Godfrey Olukya  | 05.04.2023 - Update : 05.04.2023
Cabinet minister in Uganda arrested over stealing iron sheets


Police in Uganda have arrested the minister for Karamoja affairs, Mary Kitutu on allegations of stealing iron sheets meant for the poor people in the Karamoja region.

Her arrest was directed by members of the parliamentary select committee which is investigating the misappropriation of the iron sheets meant for vulnerable people in Karamoja. It came about after she declined to give evidence on oath regarding the offense.

According to police, apart from her refusing to give evidence on oath, she had also been evasive after turning down several summonses to answer queries related to the iron sheets.

Police said it is also investigating other ministers and government officials who received iron sheets from the arrested mister.

On January 12, this year, in an internal memo, the minister Mary Kitutu reportedly wrote to the office of the Prime Minister Undersecretary for Finance and Administration, Geoffrey Sseremba requesting for 12,200 iron sheets to be distributed to poor people in the Karamoja region. The iron sheets were given to her but were never given to the people of Karamoja.

According to police, instead of taking iron sheets to Karamoja, the minister distributed some to a few other ministers and senior government officials and also took the rest to her home in the village.

Whistleblowers informed police that the minister’s relatives were selling the iron sheets with words written on them reading ‘ For Karamoja, Not for sale’. Her mother and two brothers were arrested red-handed by police while selling the iron sheets.

Karamoja, located in northeastern Uganda has the poorest people in the country and that was the reason why the government decided to distribute to them free iron sheets.

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