Moroto, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Leaders in the Karamoja region are angry with the state minister for Karamoja affairs Agnes Nandutu for castigating the National Unity platform (NUP) for delivering food in Karamoja saying NUP was looking for cheap popularity. Instead, some district chairpersons and the mayor of Moroto who is a staunch NRM cadre have appealed to NUP to send them more food.
While appearing on NBS television last week, Minister of State for Karamoja Affairs and Bududa District MP, Agnes Nandutu mocked the National Unity Platform’s gesture to donate food items to the Karamoja region saying it was to seek cheap popularity.
NUP donated 2,500kgs of maize flour and 2,500kgs of beans after several alarms made by leaders as hunger was killing people.
Nandutu said some people in Karamoja were killed by diseases, and others by cattle rustling adding that a few have been killed by the famine but not in the exaggerated way the media portrays.
Her statement has not gone well with the district leaders of Karamoja describing it as unfortunate to the minister appointed to manage the affairs of Karamoja.
Speaking to URN on Thursday the district chairperson of Nabilatuk Paul Lokol said the victims of the current hunger-killing people in Karamoja needs everyone’s support.
He said the people who are dying of hunger do not mind where the food is coming from, whether from NRM, UPC, FDC or DP.
“It is shocking that the minister who’s supposed to coordinate all the support meant to save the lives of angry Karimojong is the one again issuing such statements,” he said.
According to Lokol, although the food that NUP delivered was not enough, it helped some families to live for more days as they were waiting and even still waiting for the food from the office of the prime minister.
“What we are after is food for our people, this is not time for politics and we welcome everyone to help us from this hunger and in fact, for us in Nabilatuk we want more food from NUP,” he said.
Jino Meri, the district chairperson of Kaabong, said such statements by the minister demoralize other well-wishers who may need to support the famine-striken region.
“For us the Karimojong, we are the ones who are dying and we are losing our relatives to famine, so we don’t mind whoever brings us food and we need more,” he said.
Meri said Kaabong has lost more 400 people to hunger in the last seven months, adding that more people are still dying.
Ismail Mohamed the mayor of Moroto Municipality thanked NUP for the support and requested for more, saying the current hunger situation needs joint effort.
“Am more senior cadre of NRM than the minister herself therefore when it comes life-saving we don’t look at parties but we look at sisters and brotherhood,” he said.
Several attempts to get a comment from Minister Agnes Nandutu were futile.