A section of members of Civil society Organisations have have asked President Museveni to consider restructuring the Office of the Prime Minister to address the level of corruption madness that have continued to escalate in this office.
In reaction to the corruption scandal of Karamojo iron sheets which involves senior Cabinet Ministers, the ActionAid Country Director, Xavier Ejoyi has noted that it is very disturbing for an ordinary person to see what is unfolding in the office of prime minister.
He further adds that, this new scandal is also an opportunity for the office of inspectorate of the government to prove itself that it is speaking to the needs of Ugandans.
Appearing before the Parliament Finance Committee on Wednesday, Hon. Maria Kasaija the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development confirmed that he indeed got the iron sheets but did not ask for them.
Kasaija shocked members of parliament when he said that he accidentally found Iron sheets in his compound.
“I have now known that these were karamoja relief items and I had again received more than 300 pieces of iron sheets, I am going to surrender them to OPM”- Kasaija.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Kasaija said that,
“Sincerely speaking, I received the iron sheets but I did not request them. I just received a call from someone telling me to ‘send someone to receive your iron sheets’ and I accepted. Under this sun who can refuse such wonderful, free iron sheets I could not refuse them because I needed them. Me I didn’t know that they were for Karamoja people because I don’t work in the Office of the Prime Minister.”
“I’m a minister and a Member of Parliament so if the Office of Prime Minister calls me to inquire if they can give me iron sheets to help in one of my programs to develop my constituency and I take them, is it wrong? Where is the crime? Did I steal them? No, I received them in the right way and I can account for them,” he added.
On another phone interview with CBS FM Kasaija said,
“I don’t want people to ask how authentic it was for me to receive iron sheets because I’m not the head of the Office of the Prime Minister. I don’t have any case to answer because I did not steal them. Also, I did not put in my tender requesting iron sheets, I was just given them. And I’m ready to account for every iron sheet because I did not sell them nor did I use them on my houses. They were all used on the government projects in my constituency,” .
Kasaija who received 600 iron sheets is among the Ministers on spot for receiving relief items meant for the vulnerable people of Karamoja.
While presiding over the Parliament on Tuesday, Speaker Anita Among, who is believed to be one of the beneficiaries of the iron sheets denied directly receiving them but accepted seeing them.
The said iron sheets, she said were given to government schools in Bukeddea.
She said the Karamoja Affairs Minister Dr. Gorreti Kitutu should be answerable since she is the one who has to know these affairs.
Kitutu is the main suspect of these scandal, after her family members were found selling these iron sheets.