IN SHORT: A scandal involving politicians skimming off roofing sheets meant for Uganda’s poor continues to captivate the public. But claims that a minister, detained by the police, tried to make a run for it are false, authorities say.
Agnes Nandutu, the state minister for Karamoja affairs, turned herself in to police detectives on 18 April 2023 for questioning over the scandal and was then taken into custody at a police station in the capital Kampala.
A Facebook post claims that Nandutu then attempted an escape from prison but was recaptured at the gate.
The post reads: “Reports coming in just now suggest that Agnes Nandutu, State Minister for Karamoja Affairs attempted to escape from prison but was arrested at the gate: More details to follow #NBSUpdates.”
The post is accompanied by a screengrab of what appears to be a broadcast from Uganda’s mainstream TV channel NBS Television. It shows Nandutu standing behind a microphone.
The strapline in the Luganda language widely spoken in Uganda reads: “NAYE TEBIMUTABUKIDDE KATE AKAABE?”
This loosely – and nonsensically – translates to: “But doesn’t it confuse him to cry now?”
But did NBS Television report that Nandutu attempted to unsuccessfully escape from prison? We checked.
‘Fake news’ say TV channel and prisons service
But on 22 April, NBS Television posted a screenshot of the circulating post on its official Facebook page with the words “FAKE”.