The Minister for Karamoja Affairs, Mary Gorreti Kimono, has filed a petition in the Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala, contesting the summons issued by the Inspectorate of Government (IGG), Beti Kamya.
The IGG had summoned Kitutu to provide information regarding the management of supplementary funds allocated to the Office of the Prime Minister for peace-building activities in Karamoja Sub-Region during the Financial Year 2021/2022.
On December 6th, 2023, Kitutu did not appear at the IGG’s office as directed. Her lawyer, Jude Byamukama, clarified that her absence was due to illness and legal objections regarding the legality of the summons. A letter from JByabakama Advocates to the IGG highlighted Kitutu’s challenge to the legality of the witness summons.
In the court application, Kitutu argues that she faces charges in the Anti-Corruption Court for the loss of public property under the Karamoja Community Empowerment Programme. These charges relate to the procurement of 14,500 iron sheets using supplementary funds allocated for peace-building activities in Karamoja.
The criminal case is scheduled for hearing on February 12th, 13th, and 15th, 2024, before Lady Justice Jane Okuo Kajuga. Despite this, Kitutu received a witness summons from the IGG on January 11th, 2024, prompting her legal challenge.
Kitutu asserts that the IGG’s actions, including a premature search warrant for her premises, are an attempt to reopen concluded investigations into the management of the supplementary funds. She contends that such actions may lead to alternative charges by a different government agency, violating her constitutional rights.
Claiming that the Inspectorate of Government is barred from investigating matters already before a court, Kitutu seeks a permanent prohibition on further investigations into the supplementary funds. She argues that continuous investigations on the same matter violate constitutional principles.
The Minister requests the court to declare that the IGG’s acts violate her due process rights and seeks a permanent injunction against the Inspectorate of Government from conducting any more investigations related to the alleged mismanagement of funds.
Additionally, Kitutu seeks temporary relief through an interim and temporary injunction to halt the summons and investigations. The application is scheduled for hearing on January 22nd, 2024, before Lady Justice Jane Okuo Kajuga.
On November 28th, 2023, Kitutu unsuccessfully attempted to block her trial over the iron sheet scandal. She alleged torture by security agents during the investigation into the theft of 9,000 iron sheets intended for Karamoja Community Empowerment. Kitutu, her brother, and a Senior Assistant Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister faced charges of loss of public property and conspiracy to defraud.
Two other ministers were arrested in connection with the iron sheet scandal, and all accused parties are expected in court this month.
In a letter dated December 20th, 2023, Kitutu sought a pardon from President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, providing detailed accountability for the missing iron sheets and expressing commitment to support the NRM Agenda in fighting corruption.