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Former NTV journalist Agnes Nandutu sent to jail in mabati scandal

The Anti-Corruption Unit in State House, Uganda on April 19, 2023, announced the arrest and remanding of three Ministers involved in the infamous mabati scandal.

One of those Ministers is a former house help and journalist who used to work at NTV Uganda, Ms Agnes Nandutu.

“The State Minister of Karamoja Affairs Hon. Agnes Nandutu has been remanded to Luzira Prison until 3/05/2023 on charges of Dealing with Suspect Property following the diversion of Iron sheets meant for the Karachunas in Karamoja Subregion. She is the 3rd Minister to be charged for their involvement in the scandal. #ExposeTheCorrupt,” said the State House unit in its statement.

Ms Nandutu was remanded a day after she surrendered herself to the police at CID Headquarters, Kibuli, and was being held at Kira Division Police Station.

“We thank Hon. Agnes Nandutu for handing herself over to the Police, upon learning of the allegations under investigation. This action has saved Police time and resources and it is worth emulating when in similar circumstances,” said the Deputy Police Spokesperson, CP Polly Namaye.

The other two Ministers currently in remand are State Minister for Planning Amos Lugoloobi who was remanded on April 17 for using stolen iron sheets to build sheds for his goats and Mary Goretti Kitutu, the Woman Member of Parliament for Manafwa and also a Minister of Karamoja Affairs.

The three are among tens of government employees and technocrats who stole 14,500 iron sheets (mabati) meant for the vulnerable people. They included 20 Ministers and 35 other legislators and technocrats. Top government officials also implicated in this scandal are Vice President Jessica Alupo, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, the speaker of Parliament Anita Among and the finance minister, Matia Kasaija.

Ugandans reacted to the news of Ms Nandutu being remanded as sampled below:

“The Speaker @AnitahAmong got the iron sheets and used them to roof her school Bukedea Comprehensive School. We dare you to arrest her and have her charged same way!” said Walusimbi.

“Waiting for Kasaija and Anita Among to to prove that you’re not only going for the small fish(Mukene) and leaving out the Mpuuta and sharks,” added Allan Biks.

“Nothing will unlock Africa’s economic potential more than ending the cancer of corruption. It is a problem of those who do business with Africa. Corruption drains billions of money from our economy that money could be used to create jobs and build hospitals and schools,” said Maiso Marvin.

“We want the same for AAA, P.M as the prime suspect because it was from her office and she became a beneficiary and V.P,” added Nelly Mbabzi.

“You’re just wasting peoples time nd taxpayers money the solution is to push them out of the offices starting from Prime Minister, Kasaija, Speaker of Parliament, Kadaga with their colleagues 🙄,” added Bekar Sebatindila.

President Museveni had earlier ordered everyone involved in the scandal to give back the stolen iron sheets or pay the cash equivalent of the mabatis they took. He also categorically stated that the mabati scandal by his Ministers amounts to subversion, undermining the country’s security and that they should be charged with theft. Calls continue to increase for sanctioning all government employees and technocrats implicated in this mabati scandal.

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