Minister Lugoloobi Arrested Over Karamoja Iron Sheets
The State Minister for Planning under the Finance Ministry Amos Lugoloobi has been arrested in relation to diversion of iron sheets for the vulnerable poor people of Karamoja.
According to sources, Lugoloobi was arrested on Thursday evening after showing up at Criminal investigations department headquarters in Kibuli to record a statement.
Sources say that Lugoloobi has been shunning CID summons duping investigators that he is out of the country on official duties whereas not. But sources say he was advised to show up and have his fate determined as soon as possible.
He is currently being held at Kira Road Police Station. It is not yet clear when Lugoloobi will be arraigned before Court to face justice.
Lugoloobi becomes the second Minister to be arrested in relation to this scandal where more than 14,500 iron sheets meant to benefit the Karamoja people under the Karamoja Community Empowerment Program were diverted to the benefit of third parties. Lugolobi, it was reported earlier, used the iron sheets the recived to roof his piggery in Kayunga.
The Karamoja Affairs Minister Mary Gorreti Kitutu was the first to be arrested and she spent two days within police custody before she could be produced before the Anti Corruption Court on April 6th 2023 together with her brother Michael Naboya Kitutu on six charges related to causing loss of property and conspiracy to defraud the government of Uganda.
Kitutu and her brother Naboya were earlier in the day granted bail by the Anti Corruption Court and they will return on April 27th 2023 for the Prosecution to inform court about the status of investigations.
They had each spent eight days in Luzira Prison on remand .
Court also further renewed Criminal Summons against Joshua Abaho, the Senior Assistant Secretary Ministry of Karamoja Affairs in the office of the Prime Minister.
In December 2021, the Parliament passed a supplementary budget worth 39 billion shillings to support various programs in Karamoja. Of these, 22 billion shillings were meant to purchase goats while 5 billion shillings was for procurement of 100,000 iron sheets which are alleged to have been diverted.
Last month CID stated that they were investigating 22 Ministers, 31 MPs and 13 Chief Administrative Officers.
The Spokesperson of the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Jacquelyn Okui has since stated that files of those implicated will be coming in in peacemeals as and when they are forwarded by the Police which is investigating the matter.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on April 3rd 2023 wrote to the Prime Minister Robinah Nabanja saying those who were involved in the iron sheets scandal made a political mistake and he also promised to make a political action.
The President also advised those who received the iron sheets to return them. Others like Speaker Anita Among have since heed to the President’s advice.