Speaker Anita Among has said that officials found culpable in the alleged diversion of iron sheets meant for vulnerable youth in Karamoja should be punished.
Among said the committee on Presidential Affairs is probing the allegations, following a petition by the Karamoja legislators on 15 February 2023. She made the communication during the plenary sitting on Tuesday, 28 February 2023.
“I administratively referred the petition to the committee and I gave them two weeks to report back to the House,” said Among.
The petition follows allegations that top government officials are benefiting from aid meant for youth in Karamoja.
Among warned other ministers against meddling in the matter, saying that the issue concerns Ministers from the Karamoja sub-region.
“I do not want other ministers to be pulled into what they are not concerned with; let everybody carry their own cross. Let us wait for the report to come back from the committee and we shall take a decision,” said Among.
Kira Municipality Member of Parliament, Hon. Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, said that plenary sittings should be suspended until the report from the committee is ready.
“When the government is involved in a crime of industrial scale, the ability of that government to deliver any service is curtailed. If you have a whole cabinet involved, that Cabinet cannot come here and speak,” Ssemujju said.
Hon. Jonathan Odur (UPC, Erute County South) called for tabling of the petition, saying that it will enable MPs to understand the substantive issues raised by the petitioners.
“What are the substantive issues that the MPs from Karamoja raised that you have referred to the committee? While the rules give you the latitude to refer the petition to the committee, that petition must be presented here,” Odur said.
The Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Mathias Mpuuga said that laying the petition on the table will enable MPs to augment the matters raised by the Karamoja MPs.
“Should we believe that given the information available, there is a need for amendment of the prayers or to even occasion another petition to rhyme with the original petition?” Mpuuga said.
The Speaker explained that the petition was referred to the committee because House was on recess, adding that it will officially be presented in the House.
Parliament resumed plenary sittings following a three-week recess to enable MPs to conduct oversight of the Parish Development Model (PDM).
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