• Thu. Sep 28th, 2023

UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Justice Lawrence Gidudu of the High Court Anti-Corruption Division has scheduled July 4, 2023 as the ruling date to decide whether individuals implicated in the diversion of Karamoja iron sheets and property under their ministries and departments can be legally held accountable.

Justice Gidudu’s ruling will have a great bearing on 33 Members of Parliament, 21 Ministers, and 13 Chief Administrative Officers whom the CID of police said it was investigating in this scandal.

In April 2023, Lawyer Male Mabirizi filed a case seeking to stop the investigations, arrests, and prosecutions related to the Karamoja iron sheet saga.

In his application, Mabirizi argues that some of the suspects, including the Vice President, Speaker, Prime Minister, Ministers, Members of Parliament, and Members of Local Government Councils, do not hold positions in the public service. Therefore, he contends that they cannot be held criminally liable.

Mabirizi further asserts that the responsibility for accountability lies with the Accounting Officers and claims that President Museveni’s involvement is splitting the case involving 14,500 iron sheets into multiple files infringes on the accused persons’ right to a fair hearing.

The Attorney General, in response, challenges Mabirizi’s competence to bring the application to court.

Ms Josephine Namatovu from the DPP office explains that the police are conducting investigations under her guidance and constitutional mandate.

The investigations are targeting several individuals suspected of diverting the iron sheets, with some already facing charges in court.

Namatovu clarifies that the accused individuals played distinct roles in different circumstances and locations. The decision to prosecute them separately is based on the law and evidence.

Namatovu refutes the claim that the Vice President, Speaker, Prime Minister, Ministers, MPs, and members of the local government are immune to criminal investigations and prosecutions.

She emphasises that the arrests, interrogations, and trials in the Karamoja iron sheet saga cannot be attributed solely to the accounting officer, as they are still subject to police investigations.

Among the ministers already charged concerning the case are Ms Mary Goretti Kitutu (Karamoja Affairs Minister), Amos Lugoloobi (State Minister for Finance, Planning, and Economic Development), and Ms Agnes Nandutu (State Minister for Karamoja Affairs).


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