Appoint us to cabinet – Karamoja students ask president

By Samson Waswa

The Ministry of Karamoja under the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) is run by Hon Mary Goretti Kitutu (L) and Agnes Nandutu (R), both from Eastern Uganda

University Students from Karamoja have appealed to President Yoweri Museveni to start appointing people from the sub region to fill the position of Minister of State for Karamoja.

The students, while addressing the press in Kampala on Monday, blamed the iron sheets and other corruption scandals which have hit the Karamoja Ministry, on ministers who don’t have a proper understanding of the region.

The students noted that since the creation of the Ministry for Karamoja, it has been led by people from outside who lack incentive to work for the people of Karamoja.

The Karamoja Ministry under the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) is currently run by Mary Gorreti Kitutu from Manafwa district and Agnes Nandutu from Bududa, in Eastern Uganda.

If you look at the Ministry of Karamoja as an office, how many Karamojongs have been there in the last 20 years,” queried one Earnest Ayen, during a press conference at the opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) offices in Kampala.

Almost every project that is designed for Karamoja, the money gets stolen. The government is giving us ministers who don’t understand the magnitude of problems that we are facing as a region.”

Ayen, therefore appealed to President Museveni to appoint Karamojongs as such the students themselves to run the ministry.

We have people who have gone to school in Karamoja. When we tell the government to deploy one of us as Karamoja Minister, it is not that we are tribalists; we simply understand that they will have a deeper understanding and heart to help the people of Karamoja.”

Simon Acia, another concerned student, complained about the increasing rate of insecurity in Karamoja caused by cattle rustlers; neglect from government of social services in the sub region, and the rising risk of hunger that continues to endanger families.

"As I speak now, Abim Hospital is filled with people with bow and arrow injuries, but it has no ambulance. Our people are dying and government is looking on,” he said.

President Museveni earlier this month visited Karamoja, where he promised to address the insecurity and to follow up on the different poverty alleviation programs in the sub region.

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