Minister Kitutu Granted Permission for Overseas Travel

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Minister Kitutu Granted Permission for Overseas Travel
The judge dismissed state claims that Dr. Kitutu's travel would interfere with the pending cases before the court, as her primary criminal case was stayed, pending the determination of her human rights case.
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Highlights:

  • Minister Kitutu Gets Green Light for International Trips
  • Court Approves Overseas Travel for Minister Kitutu
  • Karamoja Affairs Minister Cleared for International Conferences

In a recent court ruling on Friday, October 6, 2023, Karamoja Affairs Minister Dr. Mary Gorretti Kitutu was given permission to travel abroad for conferences in the United Kingdom and Dubai.

Dr. Kitutu, who also serves as the woman Member of Parliament (MP) for Manafwa District, had faced corruption-related charges related to the loss of 9,000 iron sheets intended for vulnerable individuals in the Karamoja sub-region.



Trial judge Jane Kajuga stated that there were no grounds to deny the minister’s request for travel.

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“The application for travel to the United Kingdom to attend the Inzu Masaaba UK (Imuka) event and to Dubai, UAE, to attend the UN Climate Change Conference is granted,” Judge Kajuga ruled.

However, the judge did not grant unrestricted travel rights to Dr. Kitutu. She inquired about the duration of the minister’s intended travels.

“The application for unrestricted travel rights fails. To that end, I vary the applicant’s bail terms by including a requirement that the applicant’s travels outside the jurisdiction of the court shall be made upon consent of the court. Each request shall be considered on its own merits. The applicant shall continue to abide by the bail conditions previously set by the court,” noted Judge Kajuga.



In her ruling, the judge noted that Dr. Kitutu’s invitation to the IMUKA 10-year anniversary events in London, scheduled from November 23 to December 5, 2023, was extended to her in her capacity as a minister and based on her role as a government official from Bugisu Sub Region.

The court also recognized that the minister had obtained clearance from the Office of the Prime Minister for her travel to these events.

“…and seeing her formal authorization dated September 12, 2023, further shows that the government of Uganda has facilitated her travel expenses which demonstrates an interest of the government in her attendance,” the court observed.

Judge Kajuga additionally acknowledged an invitation letter indicating that Dr. Kitutu had been nominated as a party delegate representing Uganda at the United Nations Climate Change Conference 28, scheduled to be held from November 12 to December 12, 2023, in Dubai. This nomination clearly had official significance.

“It is clear from the above letters that the applicant is invited to attend both functions in her official capacity. While it may not be clear as to how she plans to effectively juggle the two events, I find attendance of both possible as one of the events ends on December 5 while another on December 12,” she stated.

Furthermore, the judge dismissed state claims that Dr. Kitutu’s travel would interfere with the pending cases before the court, as her primary criminal case was stayed, pending the determination of her human rights case.

“I have considered the applicant’s attendance record since the criminal case started. She has attended each sitting of the court as required. I am also satisfied that her actions are not steeped in bad faith, considering that there was no legal impediment to external travel, and she still thought it necessary to seek the consent of the court,” Judge Kajuga concluded.



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