The Minister in charge of Karamoja Affairs, Ms Mary Goretti Kitutu, has apologised over the diversion of iron sheets that were meant for the vulnerable people in the sub-region.Kitutu made the apology while appearing before the Presidential Affairs Committee which is investigating the issue.
“This statement is being made in my capacity as Minister for Karamoja Affairs on the matter of iron sheets procured under my Ministry. Without proper guidance, some iron sheets meant for Karamoja region were given outside the region in response to requests. This could have been an oversight but now that guidance has been given, this will not recur,” part of her apology statement reads.
During the committee hearing, Kitutu explained that she was not given proper guidance on how to handle the distribution of the iron sheets. However, members of the committee were not satisfied with this explanation and pressed her for more information.
The MPs asked Kitutu where the guidance should have come from and questioned whether there was ever a plan for the supplementary budget of Sh39 billion, of which Shs22 billion was intended for the purchase of the iron sheets that were ultimately diverted.
“Any inconveniences and embarrassments caused are highly regretted. My commitment to serving Uganda as a whole and the Ministry of Karamoja Affairs, in particular, is unwavering. I pray that you accept my sincere apology,” she said.
Kitutu’s apology comes after a recent report revealed that the iron sheets, which were supposed to be distributed to the vulnerable people in Karamoja, were instead given to government officials, including ministers. The report sparked public outrage and calls for those responsible persons to be held accountable.
The committee is expected to make recommendations on how to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future and to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.