Minister Kitutu’s Brother Requests Transfer of Iron Sheets Case to High Court

Michael Naboya Kitutu, the brother of Karamoja Affairs Minister, Mary Gorreti Kitutu Kimono, wants his case file forwarded to the High Court.

He is jointly charged with his sister and her Personal Assistant, Joshua Abaho, in the Anti-Corruption Court for their alleged involvement in an iron sheets scandal.

The case returned Thursday for an update on the progress of investigations before the Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate, Joan Aciro. 

According to the prosecution, between June 2022 and January 2023, at the office of the Prime Minister’s Stores in Namanve, Mukono District, Kitutu is accused of causing the loss of public property in the form of 9,000 prepainted iron sheets.

It is alleged that she diverted these sheets from the intended purpose of benefiting the Karamoja Community Empowerment Program for her own benefit and that of third parties, knowing it would lead to the loss of the said property. 

Additionally, in January 2023, Minister Kitutu and her Personal Assistant Abaho are accused of diverting 5,500 iron sheets for unrelated purposes, which ended up being received by third parties.

Abaho, who was charged with the duty of keeping the sheets in good and safe custody as the receiver, is implicated in the diversion. The prosecution further alleges that Naboya received 100 pieces of iron sheets in Namisindwa district, which were part of those that the Minister and Abaho had allegedly connived to divert.

During the court session, the State Attorney Jonathan Muwaganya informed the Chief Magistrate that investigations were still ongoing and requested two more weeks to finalize them. The defense lawyers representing the accused persons had no objection to the adjournment.

However, Aciro brought to the attention of the court users that she received a letter from the lawyers representing Naboya, requesting the file to be forwarded to the High Court.

She clarified that the proper procedure is for the High Court to write to the Deputy Registrar, who would then inform the Chief Magistrate to transfer the file. Our reporter has since established that the file is needed in the High Court for an application in which, Naboya is challenging the territorial jurisdiction of the Anti-Corruption Court.

His lawyers argue that the alleged crime was committed in Namisindwa, and therefore, he should be tried in a court near where the allegations took place, rather than in Kampala. The case has been adjourned to June 15, 2023, and the trio—Kitutu, Naboya, and Abaho—have had their bail extended until then.

The Anti-Corruption Court, established as a special division of the court in July 2008, has unlimited jurisdiction to hear corruption-related cases from both the private and public sectors across the country. While the court is currently housed in Kampala, it has the ability to move and sit anywhere in Uganda during organized special sessions to hear cases from different regions.

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