Police trucks in Karamoja sub-region are being used to transport marble stones. Some of the trucks that are designated for transporting food stuff for police in Karamoja, reportedly strike deals with businessmen to load and carry stones to Kampala city.
Yesterday, a police truck, registration number UP 2375 was seen loaded with marble stones from Rupa sub-county in Moroto district before turning to Mt. Moroto regional police headquarters to pick motorbikes that were being sent back to Kampala for repair. Several other police trucks have been seen plying the Moroto-Soroti route with loads of stones.
Our area reporters have learnt that some of the stones are carried on behalf of one of the police bosses in Kampala. The sources however, declined to divulge details about the alleged police boss involved in marble trade.
Mt. Moroto regional police commander Gerald Twishime acknowledged that the stones are for personal use but declined to name the individuals involved. He, however, hastened to add that he is not directly involved in the supervision of the trucks.
“Those are troop carriers and can be used for any activity. But why are you concerned? Has anyone lodged a complaint? For us, it won’t be an issue unless there is a formal complaint,” Twishime said.
A number of government vehicles that operate or visit Karamoja end up carrying marble stones, charcoal or goats for personal use on their way to Kampala. Marble stones are used for construction works and making tiles.
Samuel Logit, one of the artisanal miners in Rupa says the drivers of the police trucks pay between Shs 150,000 and Shs 300,000 for loading marble stones to the truck - indicating how valuable the marble stones are.
Gerald Eneku, the inspector of mines in Karamoja says the marble stones cost about Shs 3 million per truck, on arrival to any town between Iganga and Kampala.
In a related development, social media has been buzzing with pictures of an ambulance belonging to Omoro district being used to ferry bricks.