By Spy Uganda
The Minister for Karamoja Affairs, Mary Goretti Kitutu Kimono has been remanded by the High Court of Kampala, even after taking a plea of not guilty to the charges of corruption and diversion of Karamoja iron sheets.
The Minister Kitutu denied involvement in the alleged diversion of iron sheets intended for Karamoja.”I have heard and understand the charge; it is not true and I am not guilty,”Kitutu responded to the charges of Loss of Public Property and Conspiracy to Defraud.
Her plea for bail was rejected and she was remanded to Luzira women’s prison till April 12 when she will return to the dock.
Kitutu is accused of failing to deliver iron sheets and other relief items meant for Karamoja, some of which she allegedly diverted to non-intended beneficiaries, including her close relatives.
She is jointly charged with her young brother, Naboya Kitutu, 52, a peasant at Situmi village , Situmi parish, Bukhawekha sub-county in Namisindwa district, and Abaho Joshua, the senior assistant secretary – Ministry of Karamoja Affairs, Office of the Prime Minister.
This afternoon, Working together with @PoliceUg, Hon. Mary Goretti Kitutu & her brother Micheal Naboya Kitutu have been charged with Conspiracy to defraud & Loss of Public Property after she allegedly diverted iron sheets meant for vulnerable communities in the Karamoja… pic.twitter.com/7jARA6boog
— Anti Corruption Unit – State House Uganda (@AntiGraft_SH) April 6, 2023
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) slapped her with loss of public property, corruption, and conspiracy to commit a felony while Naboya is separately charged with the offence of receiving stolen iron sheets.
Prosecution states that the accused persons between the month of June 2022 and January 2023 at the Prime Minister’s store in Namanve, Mukono district caused loss of property in form of 9000 pre-painted iron sheets of gauge 28 and 5,500 pre-painted iron sheets (also gauge 28) by diverting them from the intended purpose of benefiting the Karamoja community empowerment programme to their own benefits, knowing that such acts would result into loss of the said public property.
The minister was arrested on Tuesday at Parliament while appearing before the Presidential Affairs Committee which is also probing the matter and handed over to the Criminal Investigations Directorate.
She was then taken to Kibuli where the joint team of CID and State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SHACU) were waiting for her. This was after Kitutu snubbed the summonses that had been served to her by the Police.
When she appeared before CID, Kitutu reportedly declined to speak to the detectives, forcing the Police to detain her. At about 10:45 pm, a decision was made to drive Kitutu to Kira Division Police headquarters in Kira municipality where she was jailed before appearing today in Court.