Rubanda, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Administrators of schools in Rubanda district have disassociated themselves from reports that they benefited from iron sheets that were obtained from the Office of the Prime Minister by the State for Finance, in charge of General Duties, Henry Musasizi.
The iron sheets were meant to be distributed in Karamoja under the affirmative action programme for the region which has for years been characterized by insecurity, cattle rustling and poverty. However, it emerged that the iron sheets had been taken by various government officials.
As investigations into the scandal took shape, it emerged that a personal Assitant to Mary Goretti Kitutu, the Minister for Karamoja Affairs had guided the distribution of the Iron sheets through WhatsApp messages that were sent to the Senior Inventory Officer at the Office of the Prime Minister.
Before the WhatsApp messages, Minister Kitutu had ordered the release of 12,200 iron sheets to her office, stating that as part of the community mobilization and peace-building missions, she had planned to distribute iron sheets to vulnerable groups and reformed warriors who are willing to dissociate themselves from rustling. The process which started on January 25, 2023, was eventually halted on February 8, 2023.
But by the time it was suspended, several government officials had already taken the iron sheets. They include State Minister for Primary Education Joyce Moriku Kaducu, East African Affairs Minister Rebecca Kadaga, State Minister for Defense Jacob Oboth-Oboth, Finance minister Matia Kasaija, his Depties, Amos Lugolobi and Henry Musasizi, the Third Deputy Premier Rukia Nakadama, Government Chief Whip Dennis Hamson Obua and Fred Bwiino Kyakulaga, the State Minister for Agriculture, among others.
However, Musasizi who is also the Rubanda East Member of Parliament told a Church Choir Baptism Ceremony over the weekend that he had applied for 200 iron sheets for roofing schools and delivered them to the office of the Kakore Rugambwa Parish Priest in Hamurwa sub-county, Kabale Diocese.
Kakore Catholic Parish Priest Rev Fr Herbert Agaba told our reporter that his office received 200 pieces of iron sheets to roof structures and of these, 63 have been used at Bugiri Primary school and 132 are going to roof the St Johns Ikumba primary school classroom block.
However, Sipriano Rwanzigu, the Deputy Headteacher at Bugiri Primary School told our reporter that the school last received iron sheets between 2007 and 2017 when it was still under Kabale District Local Government.
Similarly, Januario Ngabirano, the headteacher of John’s Ikumba Primary School says that the school received 150 iron sheets from Rubanda District Local Government under council allocations but not from the Office of the Prime Minister.