Third minister in Uganda detained over alleged theft of iron sheets


The Ugandan police on Tuesday detained a third minister over ongoing investigations into alleged abuse of office and theft of metal roofing iron sheets meant for vulnerable people in the restive northeastern region, also known as Karamoja.

Polly Namaye, the deputy spokesperson for the Uganda Police Force, said in a statement that Agnes Nandutu, state minister for Karamoja, is being held at Kira Division Police Station in the central district of Wakiso.

“The minister handed herself over to the police at the CID (Criminal Investigations Directorate) headquarters in Kibuli, where she was assigned detectives to take her statement,” Namaye said. “The file has been submitted to the office of the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) for further guidance and possible sanctioning.”

Nandutu becomes the third minister to be detained over alleged corruption, fraud, diversion and theft of iron sheets meant for young pastoralists under the Karamoja Community Empowerment Program.

On Monday, Amos Lugoloobi, state minister for finance and planning, was charged with two counts of dealing with suspect property. He was remanded to Luzira Maximum Security Prison in the national capital of Kampala until April 20, when he will return to court for his bail application proceedings.

Mary Kitutu, minister for Karamoja Affairs, was arraigned and charged with corruption and conspiracy to commit a felony on April 7.

It is alleged that more than 14,500 out of 100,000 iron sheets procured for the Karamoja Community Empowerment Program were diverted to the benefit of third parties, mainly ministers, political leaders, or their relatives.

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has expressed his commitment to taking political action once the police and anti-corruption agencies complete their investigations. Enditem

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