IRON SHEETS: Minister Lugoloobi charged to face 7 years in jail on conviction

State Minister for Finance in Charge of Planning Hon Amos Lugoloobi. PHOTO/Courtesy

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The State Minister of Planning in the Finance Ministry, Hon Amos Lugoloobi has been formally charged with two (2) counts of dealing with stolen Iron sheets that were meant for most needy residents in the Karamoja sub-region.

Lugoloobi who is also the MP for Ntenjeru Nprth county in Kayunga District today (Tuesday) appeared before Anti-Corruption Court Judge Margaret Tibulya but pleaded not guilty to the charges read.

According to Prosecution, the Minister between February 2022, March, and July 2023 while at the Prime Minister’s office in Namanve and his residences in Matuuga and Ntejeru in Kayunga district illegally dealt with 700 pieces of iron sheets marked ‘OPM’ well knowing the same were obtained as a result of loss of public property.

Justice Tibulya after hearing the submissions extended Lugoloobi’s bail and the trial until August 22nd, 2023 when he will reappear for mention.

If found guilty, the embattled minister, who is accused of using the iron sheets to cover a shelter for his goats, might receive a seven-year prison sentence, a fine of up to 160 currency points (Shillings 3.2 million), or both.

Mr Lugoloobi is among the three ministers implicated in the theft of iron sheets meant to benefit vulnerable groups in the Karamoja sub-region. Others are Karamoja Affairs minister Mary Gorreth Kitutu and her junior, Agnes Nandutu.

He is one of the three Ministers being tried by the anti-corruption court for the controversy involving the Karamoja iron sheets.

The other two are State Minister for Karamoja Affairs Agness Nandutu and her Senior Minister Mary Gorreti Kitutu, who is accused of conspiring to defraud the government and causing the loss of government property on six counts alongside her brother Michael Naboya Kitutu.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Jane Frances Abodo, has since closed the case files of the other 17 prominent politicians, including MPs, Ministers, the Speaker of Parliament, and the Vice President, who were previously charged in the same scandal due to a lack of evidence.

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