Uganda’s Vice President Jessica Alupo has finally broken her silence of her alleged involvement in the diversion of Iron Sheets that were meant for Karamoja Sub Region.
While appearing before the Parliament’s Presidential Affairs Committee probing the diversion of iron sheets at her office, H.E Alupo who doubles as woman MP Katakwi district, which neighbors Karamoja said, the iron sheets sent directly from Office of the Prime Minister to Katakwi were given to community projects.
Alupo noted that, over the years, Katakwi district has suffered cattle rusting and cattle thefts because of its proximity to Karamoja region where armed cattle rustlers often cross over to Katakwi.
She told the committee that, “the iron sheets sent directly from OPM to Katakwi were given to community projects like church construction in Magoro and Okoco among others”.
Other institutions that received support according to Alupo included; community schools like Odoom community primary school and schools whose roofs had been blown off by storms like Getom primary school in Ngariam County, Omosingo primary school in Toroma county and Aparisia primary school in Usuk county, and Usuk Youth skills centre.
She also highlighted that Government through the Office of the Prime Minister, has over the last 15 years, given out iron sheets and other relief items under the different Ministries of Teso Affairs, Luwero Rwenzori region, Bunyoro affairs, Northern Uganda affairs and disaster preparedness affairs to the disaster stricken and Vulnerable communities across the country.
“My understanding is that it was under this arrangement that my PA was called to receive the iron sheets for vulnerable people in katakwi,” She told the committee.
She further stressed that she directed her PA to channel any iron sheets given to him directly to the deserving communities especially in areas where she had participated in fundraising on the invitation of the communities and that instruction was followed to the dot
“Our people still need intervention of social support like iron sheets, but the mechanism of distribution or allocation should be more regulated and should be done in a systemic manner. The fight against corruption must be tackled by everyone. Leaders given responsibility must hold the property of government in trust and channel resources to the intended beneficiaries without fail,” she told the committee.
The VP said that the issue of Karamoja challenges should further be handled in a holistic way to include solutions for mechanized and commercial agriculture, irrigation, social services, compulsory education, and industrialization, water for production and water for domestic use.
The committee led by its chair, Hon Jesca Ababiku commended Alupo for according them time to discuss two critical issues of overall policy and of the investigation into the diversion of the Karamoja iron sheets.