President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has directed all those who diverted the iron sheets meant for Karamoja sub-region to pay back the equivalent value in money or return them.
This, Museveni revealed on Tuesday while responding responding to commentators on social media who reacted to his Easter message.
“Those who diverted the mabaati but not for personal use, must pay back the equivalent value in money or return the mabaati for the Karachuna, so that, that programme goes on,” the president said.
He added, “On many occasions, I have told leaders not to try and carry their Constituents on their heads financially (kubetikka) but show the families how to use the NRM programmes (NAADS, OWC, PDM, etc.) and make their own money.”
The president said this is one of the problems with the political class, where some of them have not internalized the NRM line on social-economic transformation and they, opportunistically, try to do the cheap popularity of fund-raising, giving mabaati, giving big numbers of bursaries, etc.
“They end up with debts and desperate efforts to look for donations, efforts that can lead into mistakes of being tempted to divert what is meant for A to B,” he said.
Museveni added that this is a political mistake that can also be subversive.
“As you will see from my letter to the Prime Minister. That mistake, however, is totally different from converting those items to personal use. That is no longer just a mistake, but theft. Therefore, Kugonza do not worry, all those involved will be handled appropriately.”
Last week, the Minister for Karamoja, Mary Goretti Kitutu, was remanded to Luzira prison together with her brother, Micheal Naboya Kitutu, over the scandal in which over 14,500 iron sheets meant for the poor in Karamoja were diverted.
According to the Office of the DPP, other high-ranking government officials will soon be charged over the same scandal.
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