The Prosecution has lined up seven witnesses to testify against State Minister for Finance and Economic Planning Amos Lugoloobi who is implicated in the diversion of iron sheets meant for the vulnerable people of Karamoja.
The Prosecution alleges that while at the office of the Prime Minister Stores in Namanve, Mukono District and different places in Matugga, Wakiso District and Ntejeru North Constituency in Kayunga District, Lugoloobi dealt with 700 pre-painted iron sheets marked ‘Office of the Prime Minister.
The said iron sheets were obtained in two phases with one involving 400 iron sheets between July 14, 2022, and February 2023, and another batch of 300 iron sheets obtained between February 1, 2023 and March 16, 2023. The minister was subsequently arrested and charged with dealing with suspect property. In July 2023, he was committed by the Chief Magistrates Court to face trial.
Today, the Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Josephine Namatovu informed the Court that she has lined up seven witnesses who are ready to testify in the case when the hearing resumes next week. She added that she received Lugoloobi’s appointment letter late and was unable to respond when the matter came up this morning. The appointment letter is one of the documents the Prosecution intends to rely on to prove that Lugoloobi is a minister who misused his office.
The case has now been adjourned to October 25 for a hearing. Lugoloobi’s Lawyer John Isabirye, also informed the Court that his team was ready to defend the minister on the set days..
Lugoloobi faces a seven-year jail term or a fine not exceeding 160 currency points 3.2 million) or both, upon conviction. He is among the three Ministers facing trial before the Anti-Corruption court over the Karamoja iron sheets scandal.
The others are State Minister for Karamoja Affairs Agness Nandutu and her Senior Minister Mary Gorreti Kitutu who is jointly charged with her brother Michael Naboya Kitutu on six charges related to causing loss of property and conspiracy to defraud the government of Uganda.
Other 17 top politicians including MPs and Ministers, Speaker of Parliament and the Vice President who were initially implicated in the same scandal have since had their case files closed by the Director of Public Prosecutions Jane Frances Abodo for lack of sufficient evidence.