DPP Closes 17 Files on Iron Sheets Scandal

The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has closed 17 files on the theft and diversion of Iron Sheets meant for the Karamoja Region.

Addressing journalists on Saturday at her office, the Director of Public Prosecutions Jane Frances Abodo said that her office received 40 files from the Police who were working together with the State House Anti-Corruption Unit.

She said that prosecutors and investigators from the three institutions proceeded to investigate the scandal and for effective management, it was decided that the matter be handled in piecemeal.

Abodo indicated that they discovered that 23 files were directly involving the diversion of iron sheets and were opened against several suspects. She adds that out of the 23, they screened the suspects and found that they did not have sufficient evidence to proceed with 17 case files of suspects.

“Seventeen (17) case files have been closed and put away due to insufficiency of evidence. In considering the blameworthiness of the suspects, a number of factors were taken into account including the circumstances under which the iron sheets were received, the manner of use of iron sheets upon receipt, and refunds made in kind and cash”, said Abodo.

According to the DPP, some of the politicians were also misled by their personal assistants and they had no knowledge about the iron sheets. She said some had previously like three years ago written to the office of the Prime Minister seeking relief items like iron sheets to roof different places for social service provisions but had not been given feedback

Abodo said that when some of the politicians were interrogated, they thought the items they had requested from the office of the Prime Minister had arrived and put them into use as per their previous requests such as to roof schools, churches, sub-county headquarters among others.

She says that they have remained with 6 cases, and so far three files have already been taken to the courts, and the suspects charged.

The files include that of the Karamoja Affairs Minister Mary Goretti Kitutu who is facing, charges of loss of public property, corruption, and receiving stolen property, her brother Michael Naboya Kitutu and the Minister’s Personal Assistant Joshua Abaho.

The other two case files are for the State Minister for Finance and Economic Planning Amos Lugoloobi and Karamoja Affairs State Minister Agnes Nandutu who are separately charged with dealing with suspect property.

Abodo told journalists that her office is left with three files that are still under investigation. When put on task to reveal whose files they are, Abodo said that the files are for technocrats but not politicians.

The revelation by the DPP indicates that the top government officials including Vice President Jessica Alupo, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, and Speaker of Parliament Anita Among who had been implicated, will not be prosecuted.

The Constitution gives the DPP mandate to reopen a closed case file once she gets evidence she deems sufficient to stand trial against a suspect.

The DPP further revealed that so far out of 14,500 iron sheets that were said to have been diverted, 6,100 have been refunded in kind, 1,000 paid in cash and 2,295 recovered from suspects’ homes. She added that about 5,105 iron sheets are yet to be recovered.

President Museveni on April 3rd, 2023 wrote to Prime Minister Robinah Nabanja saying those who were involved in the iron sheets scandal made a political mistake and he also promised to make political action.

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