Ugandan Minister, Mary Kimono To Spend Easter In Jail Over Roofing-Sheets Scandal
A Ugandan minister, Mary Goretti Kitutu Kimono has been remanded in jail after being charged over a scandal involving the theft of thousands of metal roofing sheets.
Mary Kimono and her brother appeared before the Anti-Corruption Court accused of stealing iron roofing sheets meant for the vulnerable in the northeastern Karamoja region, and distributing them to her relatives and some other officials.
The siblings were charged “with two counts (of) causing loss to the government and conspiracy to defraud,” the Director of Public Prosecutions, Jane Frances Abodo said.
The minister pleaded not guilty in court but was denied bail and will spend Easter in the infamous Luzira prison until on April 12 when she will appear again before court.
Last month, Mary asked for forgiveness for the mismanagement of the distribution of metal roofing sheets while appearing before a parliamentary committee.
According to the BBC, at least 10 other senior government figures are alleged to have received some of the stolen corrugated iron.
These include the vice-president, the prime minister, the parliamentary Speaker, and other ministers, according to the inspector general of government.
Some of them told a parliamentary committee investigating the corruption scandal, involving 14,500 missing iron sheets, that they had not asked for them.
The prime minister has apologized and urged other officials to return the sheets. Speaker Anita Among told the house that she had returned the ones she had received.
One minister was recently forced to remove some from the roof of his goat shed, local media reported, the BBC reports.
Karamoja is home to pastoral nomads vulnerable to frequent droughts and deadly cattle raids in a remote region bordering Kenya and South Sudan.
KanyiDaily had also reported how another Ugandan minister, Hon. Evelyn Anite knelt publicly before her husband to celebrate his birthday.