The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) and State House Anti–Corruption Unit (SHACU) in March 2023 commenced investigations into the alleged diversion and mismanagement of iron sheets and other relief items meant for the Karamoja Community Empowerment Programme, at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).
These investigations were prosecution–guided with teams comprising Prosecutors and investigators from the three institutions. The investigations Covered OPM, Karamoja and several parts of the country.
The ODPP considered the matter as a highly sensitive public interest matter given the loss occasioned to a vulnerable community and the high profile Personalities involved.
For effective management of the widespread matter, it was decided that it be Handled piecemeal. Accordingly, twenty–three (23) case files directly involving the matter were opened up against several suspects.
In one case file involving Hon. Kitutu Mary Goretti, charges of loss of public Property, corruption and receiving stolen property were sanctioned against the Minister and two others. In another case file involving Hon. Lugoloobi Amos, the charge of dealing with suspect property was sanctioned against the Minister.
Hon. Nandutu Agnes was also charged in another case file with dealing with Suspect property. These matters are proceeding at the Anti–Corruption Court.
Seventeen (17) case files have been closed and put away due to insufficiency of evidence. In considering the blameworthiness of the suspects, a number of Factors were taken into account including the circumstances under which the iron sheets were received, the manner of use of iron sheets upon receipt and Refunds made in kind and cash.
Three (3) case files are still under investigation and will be perused and Determinations made upon the conclusion of the same.
Thus far, 6,100 iron sheets have been refunded in kind, 1,000 paid in cash and 2,295 recovered from suspects’ homes. About 5,105 iron sheets are yet to be recovered.