UGANDA, Kololo | Real Muloodi News | Karamoja Affairs Minister Mary Gorreti Kitutu, along with her brother Michael Naboya Kitutu and Personal Assistant Joshua Abaho, have been committed to the High Court to face trial on charges related to the diversion of iron sheets intended for the Karamoja Community Empowerment Program.
The decision was made by Chief Magistrate Joan Aciro at the Anti-Corruption Court, following the completion of inquiries into the case by the prosecution led by State Attorney Jonathan Muwaganya.
Despite an attempt by Naboya to block the trial on jurisdiction grounds, it was rejected by a superior court.
The prosecution alleges that between June 2022 and January 2023, at the office of the Prime Minister’s Stores in Namanve, Mukono District, Minister Kitutu caused the loss of public property.
Specifically, she is accused of diverting 9,000 pre-painted Iron sheets of Gauge 28 from their intended purpose of benefiting the Karamoja Community Empowerment Program.
It is alleged that Kitutu diverted these iron sheets for her benefit and the benefit of third parties, knowing that such actions would lead to a loss of property.
Additionally, in January 2023, Kitutu and Abaho are accused of diverting 5,500 iron sheets for unrelated purposes, which ended up being received by third parties.
Abaho, who was charged with the duty of keeping the iron sheets in good and safe custody, allegedly played a role in the diversion.
Naboya, the Minister’s brother, is accused of receiving 100 pieces of iron sheets in Namisindwa District, which were part of the diverted materials.
During the court proceedings, State Attorney Muwaganya informed the court that the investigations were complete.
He submitted the indictment and documents that summarised the evidence to be relied upon by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in prosecuting the three individuals.
The evidence included Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) delivery notes and vouchers, reports on the recovery of exhibits, internal memos by Abaho and Kitutu, stores requisition and approval vouchers, ledger book extracts, handwriting expert reports, a digital forensic report, and minutes from a senior top management committee meeting for OPM.
Other documents such as payment advice, goods received notes, ledger book extracts, and search certificates were also presented.
While the accused individuals are currently out on bail, they will have to wait for the High Court to schedule a date for the commencement of the trial.
In April, State Minister for Karamoja Affairs Agnes Nandutu was also committed to the High Court for trial on charges related to the iron sheets scandal.
However, the DPP recently announced the closure of 17 case files due to insufficient evidence in the iron sheets scandal.
READ MORE LIKE THIS: