Karamoja Affairs Minister Mary Goretti Kitutu has asked the court for permission to travel abroad as part of her official duties. The court will announce its decision on October 3, 2023.
Dr. Kitutu, who also serves as the Member of Parliament for Manafwa District, is facing corruption charges related to the misappropriation of 9,000 iron sheets intended for vulnerable individuals in her constituency.
In her request to the court, Dr. Kitutu, along with her legal representatives, explained that she has received formal invitations and clearance from the Office of the Prime Minister to attend two significant events. The first event is the Inzu Masaaba-UK 10th-year anniversary in the United Kingdom from November 23 to December 5, 2023. The second event is the United Nations Climate Change Conference 28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from November 24 to December 12, 2023.
Dr. Kitutu emphasized that these events are essential aspects of her official duties and responsibilities, necessitating her occasional travel outside the country. She assured the court that she fully understands and complies with her bail terms and will return to Uganda promptly after fulfilling her ministerial obligations.
Additionally, Dr. Kitutu mentioned her marital status and parliamentary responsibilities in her application. The court documents indicate that the Attorney General, the respondent in the application, would not be adversely affected if the court grants permission for her overseas travel as needed.
However, the prosecution, led by Jonathan Muwaganya, presented an affidavit from Ms. Safina Bireka, a senior state attorney, objecting to the minister’s request. Bireka argued that Dr. Kitutu had filed an application alleging human rights violations, which is pending determination. The trial court is expected to issue a ruling on this matter no later than November 10, 2023, within a 90-day timeframe.
Furthermore, Bireka contended that it would be impractical for Dr. Kitutu to attend both events in separate locations. The trial judge, Jane Kajuga, will make the final decision on October 3, 2023.