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Karamoja LC V Chairpersons Boycott Iron Sheets Distribution :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Karamoja LC V Chairpersons Boycott Iron Sheets Distribution

David Koryang, the LC V chairperson for Moroto district noted that it is ineffective to give district chairpersons only 500 iron sheets for the entire district, and MPs who cover small constituencies are given more. However the decision for the members of parliament to be part of the distribution exercise has angered the district chairpersons who fear that the donation may not reach the intended beneficiaries.
John Paul Kodet, LCV Napak on the right, Meri Jino -LCV Kaabong and David Koryang LCV Moroto during community dialogue

Audio 5

A section of LC V chairpersons in the Karamoja subregion have rejected the proposal by members of parliament to manage the iron sheet distribution exercise. In July 2022, the Ministry of Karamoja Affairs pledged to provide 100,000 iron sheets and 74,000 goats to support reformed cattle raiders who voluntarily surrender guns.

The Ministry has since announced the purchase of some iron sheets pending distribution to all the beneficiaries in the region under affirmative action. According to the distribution plan, LC V chairpersons will receive 500 iron sheets, members of parliament 1500, and the minister 9500 iron sheets for distribution all over the region.

However, the involvement of legislators in the iron sheet distribution exercise has angered LC V chairpersons who fear that the donation may not reach the intended beneficiaries. Paul Komol Lote, the LC V chairperson of Kotido district told URN that it is improper to involve the MPs in the distribution exercise for fear of politicizing the program.

Lote says the distribution of iron sheets should be led by district authorities because they have the list of the beneficiaries selected per parish. ‘’If Karamoja Affairs ministry wants MPs to distribute the iron sheets, they should plan for a separate budget but not to mix with the one intended for reformed warriors,’’ Lote said. Lote said to divert the iron sheet meant for the youth who voluntarily handed over their guns is illegal and they shall not accept to be part of the mess.

//Cue in : ‘’how can you give……..

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David Koryang, the LC V chairperson for Moroto district noted that it is ineffective to give district chairpersons only 500 iron sheets for the entire district, and MPs who cover small constituencies are given more. Koryang said that they have already petitioned the Office of the Prime Minister about their plan to boycott the exercise should MPs get involved.

Koryang observed that during the recent relief food distribution exercise, some members of parliament owned the food aid from OPM as their personal donations, something that is likely to happen in the iron sheet distribution.

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Simon Peter Lotem, the Nadunget Town council LC 3 chairperson in Moroto district said the government should not mess up the exercise by involving political leaders but instead use the OPM to manage it. Lotem said local leaders should only submit the names of the beneficiaries and they wait to observe and monitor the distribution exercise.

//Cuein : ‘’I’m wondering that……..

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Noman Ochero, the Labwor County MP in Abim district said that there is no need to struggle with the project management because it is all intended to benefit people at the grassroots. Ochero said that they are only interested in lobbying for more iron sheets because what is available may not be enough to cover everyone.

‘’There is no politics here, what we want is to see our communities transformed and living a decent life, there is no pulling rope over that’’ Ochero explained. Ochero said that it is the leaders who requested the government to provide better shelter to the people of karamoja which is an indication that they care a lot.

//Cue in : ‘’all of us were…..

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However, Mary Gorreti Kitutu, the Minister for Karamoja Affairs said there is no need to struggle over who should manage the exercise because all leaders were voted to serve their people. Kitutu said MPs can manage the exercise very well so long as they are given guidelines to follow while implementing the program.

//Cue in : ‘’it doesn’t matter…..

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On Monday, the Office of the Prime directed officials from the Ministry of Karamoja Affairs to submit accountability for the iron sheets, which were released for distribution to reformed warriors. This follows the arrest of relatives to the minister for Karamoja Affairs, Mary Gorreti Kitutu on Sunday for allegedly selling relief items meant for the Karamoja region.