New Karamoja ministers say they mean business

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New Karamoja ministers say they mean business
Karamoja junior minister Florence Nambozo

KOTIDO | The new Karamoja Affairs ministers Peter Lokeris and Florence Wamala Nambozo mean business; they have pledged to put the dust from the recent scandals that saw their predecessors in the dock behind the sub-region.

To do this, Lokeris and his junior Nambozo intend to expedite the implementation of transformative programmes in Karamoja.

"We came to introduce ourselves to you, the stakeholders, interact and discuss issues with a view of tackling them head-on to improve and transform Karamoja Sub-region," Lokeris, the MP for Chekwii County in Karamoja's Nakapiripirit District, said.

The minister, who also hails from the sub-region, was speaking during their inaugural visit to their docket jurisdiction on Tuesday, May 21, where they engaged with stakeholders in Kotido District. .

Mr Lokeris urged the community to shun acts of revenge that perpetuate cycles of criminality.

He called on security commanders and local leaders to maintain their collaboration in ensuring security and eradicating crime, which would, in turn, create a conducive environment for investment and development.

"We came to introduce ourselves to you, the stakeholders, interact and discuss issues with a view of tackling them head-on to improve and transform Karamoja Sub-region," said Lokeris.

Minister Nambozo, also Woman MP Sironko, pledged to work together with local leaders, especially in efforts focusing on the fight against food insecurity, water for production and compulsory education for all children.

The meeting noted that the Karamoja Development Agency (KDA) requires fast-tracking into reality as it remains one of the relevant tools to realising transformation.

Brig Gen Felix Busizoori, deputy commander of the UPDF Third Division based in Moroto, observed that the sub-region enjoys relative peace, attributed to adherence to the existing Presidential Amnesty window, community mobilisation and cross-border engagements.

The Commandant of the Anti-Stock Theft Unit, Senior Commissioner of Police Elias Kasirabo, assured the leaders of continued support to close gaps by ensuring access to police services, including canine services, enhancement of road checks points, and regulating livestock markets to curb thefts.

As a gesture of continued voluntary approach to the ongoing disarmament operation, one Karacuna surrendered a Sub Machine Gun, Number 06779, to the UPDF Division leadership.

The Karacuna, Pusia Lodomosia, hails from Jimos village, Itakwara parish, Napumpum Sub-county in Kotido district.

Present at the meeting were: Members of Parliament from North Karamoja, Resident District Commissioners, Chairpersons of District Local Governments, heads of security agencies, and opinion leaders, among others.

The Karamoja Affairs docket was recently rattled when it emerged that relief items worth billions of shillings meant for resettlement of vulnerable natives were diverted by government officials - including their two ministers at the time.

Mary Goretti Kitutu and Agnes Nandutu were charged with corruption-related offences over the theft of the mabaati and sacked from Cabinet in the March reshuffle.

The two former ministers also face UK sanctions after being slapped with travel ban and asset freezes.

The new minister Lokeris and Nambozo have their boots and gloves on and after the recent scandals, all looks set for real work in Karamoja.

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