- April 19, 2023
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Minister Nandutu Remanded to Luzira
The misuse of iron sheets intended for the residents of the Karamoja sub-region has led to the High Court committing the Minister of State for Karamoja, Hon. Agnes Nandutu, for trial and remanding her to Luzira. After spending the previous night in police cells at the Kira Division headquarters in connection with the incident, Nandutu was arraigned before the Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo on Wednesday. Today in front of a packed courtroom, grade one magistrate Esther Asiimwe of the Anti-Corruption Court filed charges against the minister for dealing with questionable property in violation of section 21A (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2009 (As Amended).
State Prosecution told the court that during June 2022, at the OPM stores Namanve, Mukono District and Kkola cell, Bulwanyi Parish in Mukono district, Minister Nandutu dealt with 2000 pre-painted iron sheets of gauge 28 by receiving and holding the said iron sheets which she had reason to believe were acquired as a result of loss of public property, an offense under section 10 (1) of the Anti Corruption Act 2009.
“I have instructions from the DPP to have the suspect committed to the High Court for trial. The committal papers are before you my lord,” State attorney, Mr. David Bisamuyu said before an indictment was read and the minister committed.
The Magistrate, therefore, said she cannot hear the Bududa Woman MP’s bail application following her committal. “The accused is hereby committed for trial in the next court session.”
From that point forward, Nandutu was remanded to Luzira Prison until May 3, 2023, when she is scheduled to appear before the High Court to have her case mentioned.
Two of the minister’s colleagues, Mary Goretti Kitutu and Amos Lugoloobi, have already been detained and charged by the same court as part of the ongoing inquiry into the iron sheets scam.
According to reports, the former NTV news anchor received a staggering 2,000 iron sheets from the Prime Minister’s Office. Ever since the story made national news, she has reportedly been battling to get those responsible accountable.
Her case is the most recent in a string of corruption scandals that have rocked the Ugandan government. Several ministers and parliamentarians, among other high-ranking individuals, are accused of fraud and embezzlement.
Many Ugandans have expressed their displeasure over the scandal’s suspected diversion of funds meant for the nation’s most vulnerable inhabitants, which has received widespread attention.
President Museveni instructed more of the ministers involved in the scandal to return the mabaati (roofing items) or money of equal value in a letter he sent on April 3.