Karamoja Affairs Minister Kitutu denied bail, sent back to Luzira
By WN Admin
Kampala – The anti-corruption court on Wednesday denied bail to embattled Karamoja Affairs Minister Mary Goretti Kitutu over unsubstantial sureties presented by her lawyers.
Minister Kitutu alongside her brother Michael Naboya appeared before the anti-corruption court in Kololo for the hearing of their second attempt to be granted temporary freedom as state prosecution finalises details in their charges of swindling iron sheets meant for the vulnerable in Karamoja.
However, the court’s Chief Magistrate Joan Aciro ruled out her bail application on basis that one out of the four sureties for the minister, MP Seth Wambede (Mbale North) provided documents of his workplace and source of income is known, and his earnings too.
Aciro explained that the other three proposed sureties, including the minister’s husband, former MP Simon Mulongo, and a family friend Joel Wandagwa, did not present sufficient proof of employment or financial capacity to enable the minister secure court bail.
The case has been adjourned to Friday (April 14), when the said sureties are expected to present their credentials for court to determine whether to grant the minister bail or not.
Last week, the minister was remanded to Luzira prison by the anti-corruption court on charges of causing loss of public property, corruption, and conspiracy to defraud the government. She has been denied bail due to a lack of substantial sureties.
According to state prosecution, Kitutu is accused of allegedly diverting iron sheets meant for the vulnerable people in Karamoja to her own benefit and to the benefit of third parties, having reason to believe that such an act would result in the loss of public property.
Under the charge of conspiracy to defraud, the DPP contends that the minister and Abaho, between June 2022 and January 2023, allegedly conspired to defraud beneficiaries under the Karamoja community empowerment programme of 9,000 pre-painted iron sheets.
Under count five, Kitutu’s brother is accused of receiving stolen property. The charge sheet says he received 100 pre-coated iron sheets from OPM, having reason to believe the same to have been feloniously obtained.
Minister Kitutu’s lawyers led by Michael Wamasebu, a former deputy DPP; John Musiime, and Jude Byamukama, listed ill health, advanced age of 61, having a permanent residence in Bunga; a Kampala city suburb within the jurisdiction of court, and handed to court two land titles, each measuring half an acre, in Wakiso district as grounds for her release on bail.
Once convicted, Minister Kitutu is likely to serve a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.