By Tito Masaba
Local authorities in Kampala have noted an influx of Karamojongs on the various streets ever since the scandal in which several ministers led by Karamoja affairs minister Maria Goreti Kitutu were alleged to have stolen relief items including goats and iron sheets.
The items worth billions of shillings were meant for the underprivileged people of this sub-region but ministers decided to steal them. The implicated ministers include Matia Kasaija, Amos Lugoloobi, Jennifer Namuyangu, Henry Musasizi, Robinah Nabbanja, Monica Kaducu among others. Their saga has since attracted the wrath of president Museveni who has made it clear that those found guilty will be arrested and prosecuted, describing their act as being worse than the deadly COVID-19.
With the investigations now going on, Inspectors said there is fear among some leaders in OPM that the intended beneficiaries might be up to something sinister. We’re told with the ongoing demand by Karamoja legislators for ministers Kitutu and her deputy to resign over the mess, there is fear that someone might be mobilizing the Karamojongs to storm the OPM soonest hence the recent surge in the number of Karamajongs in Kampala.
“Several streets are now flooded with new Kjongs. They are everywhere including in Wandegeya. This means, since the ministers use these same roads, they can be targeted or these K’jongs might storm the OPM” says an Inspector at KCCA.
Meanwhile, as the Kitutus battle their scandal, back home in Bugisu where the duo hail from are plans by elders to lobby so that the sub-region doesn’t lose its two cabinet seats even when the two Karamoja affairs ministers lose their seats.
Inspectors said the reason the elders have intensified their lobbying is based on five issues.
One is that, to them, Kitutu has already given up on the seat now that she’s said to be irregular in cabinet meetings.
Secondly, the minister and her deputy are said to be serving an embargo of sorts not to ever step in Karamoja again as ministers as their security is now unguaranteed. This therefore, makes them not attending to their duties effectively as they can’t access their duty station for security reasons.
Thirdly, the elders allegedly saw the last nail being harmered when speaker Anita Among decreed that the named ministers should carry their cross even in the light of the censure motion by Karamoja legislators who seem to be determined to chase the ministers and also have them prosecuted.
The last point is the fact that none of the Bugisu legislators has shown interest in defending the embattled ministers, meaning they have also surrendered the Kitutus!
We have now established that given the current state of affairs, the elders have not sat. They are now pushing for the sub-region to be left with it’s four seats even when the duo are fired.
“The president shouldn’t think that all our children are thieves. These were just a disgrace to us. Bagisu have always served deligently this nation. We shouldn’t therefore, be judged by the actions of these two individuals” says an Inspector.
In fact, to prove that they are determined, the lobbyists say the CiC now needs to shift focus from Bagisu of Babuya origin to another set either Badadiri or Wanale. The two implicated ministers are from Bubuya section!
Just this week, we established that the elders took a petition to Gen. Salim Saleh to forwarding their matters of demanding for retention of their seats.
It should be recalled that Kitutu was recommended to the president for appointment by then Mbale Diocese bishop Patrick Gidudu alongside Irene Muloni, Godfrey Mutembu and Peter Magomu Mashate. As for the Muslims, through their Mufti Ramadan Mubajje, they recommended Peter Magomu Mashate for appointment suggesting that he’s a unifer.
Of the four recommendees however, two of them Kitutu and Mutembu (MP Butiru) have had issues leaving only Muloni and Mashate as the clean choices. Others said two other MPs from Bugisu including Kayagi Netelesire and John Musila were also being considered. Watch the space!