KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Anti-corruption Court in Kololo has charged and remanded the senior assistant secretary in the Ministry of Karamoja Affairs, Joshua Abaho to Luzira prison over two counts of corruption and conspiring with Minister Mary Goretti Kitutu to defraud the government of the iron sheets meant for Karamoja region.
Abaho today (Thursday) appeared before Chief Magistrate Joan Aciro after dodging two court sessions but still denied the offences.
He was subsequently charged with the loss of public property and corruption on the same case file where Kitutu and her brother Michael Naboya Kitutu were previously charged and granted bail.
Kitutu and Naboya had also returned to court as investigations into the alleged diversion of iron sheets continue. The Karamoja Affairs minister is accused of diverting 9,000 iron sheets and giving her brother 100 pieces of the said iron sheets
The Court has heard that during the month of January 2023 at the office of the Prime Minister’s stores in Namanve in Mukono district being in public office in the position of senior assistant secretary Ministry of Karamoja Affairs, Abaho diverted 5,500 iron sheets of gauge 28 belonging to the State.
The prosecution avers that the said iron sheets were meant for the Karamoja Community Empowerment Programme but he diverted them for purposes unrelated to those for which they were intended, and for the benefit of third parties.
According to the Prosecution, Abaho received the said iron sheets by virtue of his position for purposes of custody and distribution under the said programme.
Abaho presented five sureties including; Kenneth Mugumya Tebijuka the assistant commissioner in the Ministry of Education who is also his elder brother, Johnson Musinguzi, his cousin and assistant commissioner Ministry of Works and Transport and Geoffrey Ndiwalana, the engineer for Makindye Sabagabo Municipal Council.
Other sureties are; Simon Peter Kasyate, his nephew who is also the Deputy Director of Public and Corporate Affairs at Kampala Capital City Authority, and Simon Tumwesigye Karokora, his cousin who also doubles as the customs supervisor at Uganda Revenue Authority.
Ms Aciro adjourned the matter to May 2, 2023, when it will rule on Abaho’s bail application.
The Iron sheet saga has so far seen three Ministers being charged and remanded to Luzira prison.
The three Ministers are Gorret Kitutu who has been working as Minister of Karamoja Affairs in the office of the Prime Minister, Amos Lugolobi State Minister for Finance and Agnes Nandutu State Minister for Karamoja.
The Director of Public Prosecution “DPP” recently said that most of the technical staff in OPM will be arrested one by one after investigations are complete.
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