The Minister for Karamoja Affairs, Mary Gorreti Kitutu Kimono, has officially filed an application with the Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court seeking to halt her prosecution on new charges of causing government loss of Shs1.5 billion.
Kitutu is requesting a permanent injunction against the Inspector General of Government (IGG), Betty Kamya, to prevent her prosecution for alleged mismanagement of funds for peace-building activities in Karamoja. The minister argues that these charges overlap with an ongoing case already being pursued by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the Anti-Corruption Court.
The application could not be heard on Monday due to a request from the Attorney General who petitioned presiding judge Jane Okuo Kajuga for a one-week extension to file a reply to Kitutu’s application. This additional time will allow them to clarify the distinctions between the cases handled by the IGG and the DPP, as required by law.
In April 2023, Kitutu faced charges from the DPP regarding the loss of 14,500 iron sheets intended for the Karamoja Community Empowerment Programme. The case stemmed from a Parliamentary Committee investigation into the alleged mismanagement of a Shs39 billion supplementary budget.
Kitutu is challenging both the DPP’s charges and the IGG’s investigation. She claims that the DPP has not provided her with evidence to prepare her defense, and she questions the IGG’s involvement in investigating the same matter without access to the same information.
Citing concerns about her right to a fair hearing, Kitutu aims to have the IGG’s charges dismissed. Furthermore, she requests the court to restrict the IGG from conducting any further investigations related to the Shs39 billion supplementary budget, as she believes the matter has already been adequately investigated.
The IGG summoned Kitutu to court last week, securing an order for her to appear on February 29, 2024, and answer charges of causing financial losses exceeding Shs1.5 billion related to peace-building activities in Karamoja.
Judge Jane Kajuga has scheduled a hearing for February 1, 2024, to consider Kitutu’s application.