• Mon. Oct 2nd, 2023

Court Rejects Minister Kitutu’s Brother Appeal to Transfer Iron Sheets Corruption Case

UGANDA, Kololo | Real Muloodi News | The High Court, located at the Kololo-based Anti-Corruption Court, has dismissed Michael Naboya Kitutu’s request to transfer his corruption trial to Namisindwa.

Mr Kitutu, the brother of Karamoja Affairs Minister Mary Goretti Kitutu, is accused of receiving stolen iron sheets designated for the people of Karamoja.

He sought to move the trial from Kampala to Namisindwa, where the alleged crime took place.

Justice Jane Okuo Kajuga denied Kitutu’s application, ruling that the specifics of his offence, which involve receiving 100 pieces of stolen iron sheets marked “Office of the Prime Minister,” fall under the jurisdiction of the Anti-Corruption Court as a corruption case.

Justice Kajuga also noted a connection between the corruption charges against Kitutu, his sister, and Joshua Abaho, the senior assistant secretary in the Ministry of Karamoja Affairs in the Office of the Prime Minister.

The time frame of the alleged offences, spanning from June 2022 to January 2023, establishes a series of interconnected transactions.

“I am satisfied that they are offences which occurred in the series of the same transactions by virtue of continuity as defined herein before,” Justice Kajuga ruled.

She further explained that since the primary offences under the Anti-Corruption Act are linked to the charge of receiving stolen property, the Magistrate’s Court at the Anti-Corruption Division is the appropriate jurisdiction to handle the case.

Naboya argued that the trial’s location, 270 kilometres away from his residence, posed significant challenges as he is a poor, vulnerable individual and the sole breadwinner for his family.

However, Justice Kajuga dismissed his claim, stating that he failed to demonstrate any legal prejudice that would arise from being tried alongside his sister and Abaho.

Therefore, she saw no reason to interfere with the court’s jurisdiction.

“I do not find any irregularity on the record to warrant the exercise of the powers under section 48 of the Criminal Procedure Act. The Magistrate’s Court at the Anti-Corruption Court has jurisdiction to handle the case against the applicant, hence the application fails. The same is therefore dismissed,” Justice Kajuga concluded.

She emphasised that Naboya would not face any legal prejudice by participating in a joint trial.

Justice Kajuga also expressed disappointment with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) regarding the drafting of Naboya’s charge.

She noted that the DPP had failed to establish a connection or any transactions between Naboya, Kitutu, and Abaho, who is accused of diverting the Karamoja iron sheets for the benefit of third parties.

The three individuals await committal by the Chief Magistrate’s Court to the High Court for trial, as the prosecution informed the court that investigations have been completed.

In addition to Naboya’s case, Minister Kitutu faces charges of loss of public property and conspiracy to defraud.

The state alleges that she caused the loss of public property, consisting of 9,000 pre-painted iron sheets intended for the Karamoja Community Empowerment Programme.


DPP Concludes Investigation into Kitutu’s Involvement in Iron Sheets Scandal

Minister Kitutu’s Brother Requests Transfer of Iron Sheets Case to High Court

Karamoja Iron Sheets: Kitutu’s Personal Assistant Joshua Abaho Granted Bail