Minister Kitutu Seeks Permission to Travel Abroad

Minister Mary Gorreti Kitutu. PHOTO/FILE

Kampala, Uganda | THE BLACK EXAMINER | Minister for Karamoja Affairs, Mary Gorreti Kitutu Kimono, has requested permission from the Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala to travel abroad while fulfilling her official duties. Kitutu, along with her brother Michael Naboya Kitutu and her Personal Assistant Joshua Abaho, faces joint charges.

Appearing before Anti-Corruption Court Judge Jane Okuo Kajuga, Kitutu sought approval to travel abroad, citing her right to free movement since she is presumed innocent. She emphasized her role as the Minister for Karamoja Affairs, requiring her attendance at high-level meetings and conferences within and outside Uganda on behalf of the government. Kitutu had been invited and cleared by the Prime Minister to attend events in the UK from November 23 to December 5, 2023.

Kitutu’s lawyer, Jude Byamukama, reassured the court that she would not evade trial, as she had consistently attended previous court hearings. He also pointed out her parliamentary responsibilities as the Woman MP for Manafwa and her strong sureties.

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However, the Prosecution, led by State Attorney Jonathan Muwaganya, opposed the application, expressing concerns about technical difficulties and delays in the ongoing criminal case if Kitutu were to travel. Muwaganya argued that Kitutu’s travel plans were personal and not a matter of necessity, asserting that court business should take precedence.

Muwaganya noted that there was no evidence to justify granting permission to travel and called for the application to be dismissed in the interest of justice.

The Judge scheduled October 3, 2023, for a ruling on the matter. The criminal trial involving Kitutu and her co-accused has faced delays due to issues related to her alleged torture in state custody.

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The Prosecution alleges that Kitutu, between June 2022 and January 2023, caused the diversion of 9,000 pre-painted iron sheets intended for the Karamoja Community Empowerment Program, resulting in the loss of public property. Additionally, Kitutu and her Personal Assistant Abaho are accused of diverting 5,500 iron sheets to third parties instead of safeguarding them as required.

Kitutu’s brother, Naboya, allegedly received 100 pieces of these diverted iron sheets in Namisindwa district.

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