Karamoja Iron Sheets: Minister Kitutu’s PA granted bail

After the ruling, the prosecution led by Jonathan Muwaganya informed the court that the investigations in the case are incomplete and asked to be given a hearing date.

Naboya, Abaho and Kitutu in the Anti Corruption Court earlier. PHOTO URN

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala has granted a sh8 million cash bail to Joshua Abaho the Senior Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Karamoja Affairs.

Abaho is accused of conspiring with her boss Mary Gorreti Kitutu to defraud the government of its iron sheets that were meant for the Karamoja Sub-region.

Court presided over by Chief Magistrate Joan Aciro on Tuesday, May 2 also asked each of his five sureties to execute a non-cash bond of 150 million shillings.

The sureties are Kenneth Mugumya Tibeijuka, the Assistant Commissioner in the Ministry of Education who is also his elder brother, Johnson Musinguzi his cousin and Assistant Commissioner of the Ministry of Works and Transport and Geoffrey Ndiwalana the Engineer for Makindye Sabagabo Municipal Council.

Others 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 is also the Customs Supervisor at Uganda Revenue Authority.

Aciro found them to be substantial including the nephew whom the prosecution had rejected on grounds that he cannot produce his elder to court as and when needed.

After the ruling, the prosecution led by Jonathan Muwaganya informed the court that the investigations in the case are incomplete and asked to be given a hearing date.

The case was adjourned to June 1 for both Abaho, Minister Kitutu and Naboya to return to court for mention.

The Court 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.

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The prosecution contends that the 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 iron sheets by virtue of his position for purposes of custody and distribution under the said program.

It is also alleged that Abaho conspired with his boss Kitutu between the month of June 2022 and January 2023 by deceit to defraud beneficiaries of the Karamoja Community Empowerment Program of 9,000 pre-painted iron sheets of Gauge 28.

But Abaho denied the charges against him and through his lawyers led by Paul Kutesa asked to be released on bail on grounds that he is innocent and the charges against him are bailable by the Anti-Corruption Court.

But the prosecution led by Jonathan Muwaganya and David Bisamunyu wanted Abaho to be denied bail on the basis that his sureties had not demonstrated the financial muscle to refund the monies involved in this case should he dare abscond from the trial.

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The release of Abaho on bail now leaves State Minister for Karamoja Affairs Agnes Nandutu on remand alone. Nandutu is expected to appear before High Court tomorrow, May 03rd for mention of her case.

The others who were charged before but have since been granted bail are Minister Kitutu, her brother Naboya and Minister for Finance and Economic Planning Amos Lugoloobi.

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