The Anti-Corruption Court has committed Karamoja Affairs Minister Mary Gorreti Kitutu and two of her co-accused to the High Court to face trial on charges related to loss of public property arising from the diversion of the iron sheets meant for the Karamoja Community Empowerment Program.
Kitutu, her brother Michael Naboya Kitutu, and Personal Assistant Joshua Abaho were committed on Thursday by Chief Magistrate Joan Aciro.
This was after the prosecution led by State Attorney Jonathan Muwaganya told Court that inquiries into the case against the suspects were complete. Court also heard that Kitutu’s brother Naboya who wanted to block the trial for lack of jurisdiction grounds had since lost the bid in a superior court.
The prosecution alleges that between the month of June 2022 and January 2023 at the office of the Prime Minister’s Stores, Namanve, Mukono District, Kitutu caused the loss of public property in the form of 9,000 pre-painted Iron sheets of Gauge 28 by diverting them from the intended purpose of benefiting the Karamoja Community Empowerment Program to her own benefit and to the benefit of third parties having reason to believe that such action would lead into a loss of the said property.
It is also alleged that while at the same place, in January 2023, Kitutu and Abaho diverted 5,500 iron sheets for unrelated purposes and they ended up being received by third parties yet he was charged with the duty of keeping them in good and safe custody as the receiver.
According to the prosecution, Naboya received 100 pieces of iron sheets while in Namisindwa district which was part of those that the Minister and Abaho had connived to divert.
After informing the court that the investigations are complete, State Attorney Muwaganya submitted to the court the indictment/documents showing a summary of the evidence that the office of the DPP will rely on to prosecute the trio.
Among the documents include OPM delivery notes and vouchers, a report on the recovery of exhibits, Internal Memos by Abaho and Kitutu, stores requisition and approval vouchers, ledger book extracts, handwriting experts reports, digital forensic report, and minutes for senior top management committee meeting for OPM.
The others include Government of Uganda payment advice from the Bank of Uganda, goods received notes from suppliers, ledger book extracts, and search certificates, among others.
The suspects who are out on bail will wait for the High Court to give them a date as to when the hearing of the case against them will commence.
In April, the State Minister for Karamoja Affairs Agnes Nandutu was also committed to High Court for trial on charges of dealing with suspect property contrary to section 21A(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2009.
DPP last week informed Journalists that she had closed 17 case files of suspects implicated in the iron sheets scandal due to lack of sufficient evidence.