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Pm Nabbanja Regrets Iron Sheets Scandal

The Committee is wrapping up a parallel investigation into the mismanagement of relief items meant for Karamoja

As the storm over the misappropriated Karamoja iron sheets raged outside Parliament yesterday, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja moved to calm the situation, with what sounded like  an apology.

Ms Nabbanja’s Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) coordinates distribution of relief items and is the mother ministry of the docket, whose minister Gorreti Kitutu, has since been arrested and sent on remand. 

Govt imposed iron sheets on us – Karamoja leaders

 Ms Kitutu faces accusations of causing loss of public property and conspiracy to defraud. 

Referring to media reports about ministers and MPs, who have recorded statements with the police indicating that Dr Kitutu interested them in the iron sheets as donations, Nabbanja said: “… Because all the ministers claim that they were called by the minister (Kitutu), and [I] don’t know if she called them after the investigations started.

“If she called them after the investigations had started, then this is regrettable.” 
The minister made the statement  during a meeting with Parliament’s Presidential Affairs Committee. 

The Committee is wrapping up a parallel investigation into the mismanagement of relief items meant for Karamoja. 

“We can have these other affirmative action programmes [in the OPM] replace those iron sheets in this regrettable incident. To me, this can be a way forward,” Ms Nabbanja, who is also implicated in the scandal, said. 

The committee chairperson, Ms Jesca Ababiku (Adjumani), said their probe concentrates on the diversion of the supplementary budget under which 10,000 iron sheets were bought for Karamoja. 

“When we asked for the accountability for the 9,000 balance [of iron sheets] we established, with clear records, that they were again donated outside Karamoja and thatn was where your name (Nabbanja) was appearing,” Ms Ababiku said.  In response, Ms Nabbanja said these were false allegations. 

“I believe that it is not true because what I know is that when the President was going to launch the iron sheets that time, the purchase of the Shs39 billion [supplementary budget] had not yet taken place.  They were in the process and I think the minister [Kitutu] could have wanted that exercise to take place and that is why she [only] took 1,000 iron sheets [for the launch],” Ms Nabbanja said during a meeting in her office. 

The Prime minister also claimed that what she received were iron sheets bought under a budget vote for affirmative action, rather than the Karamoja supplementary. 

“I am an MP like any other. I got only 500 iron sheets for Kakumiro under our regular [budget] and distributed them to the vulnerable people [in my] area. So, the iron sheets did not come from Karamoja, I want that clear. If our servants made a mistake in the stores.  That is not me,” Ms Nabbanja said.

Before she was dragged to court, Dr Kitutu last month pleaded that she was not given proper guidance by way of explanation for her allegedly criminal role in the affair.


Parliament in December 2021, passed a Shs39 billion supplementary budget to support humanitarian and development initiatives in Karamoja. 

Of this, Shs22 billion was to buy goats, while Shs5 billion was for procuring 100,000 iron sheets. It has since been alleged that thousands of these iron sheets were diverted to unintended beneficiaries, mainly political leaders or relatives.

Source: Monitor