Iron Sheets Probe: DPP Sends Back 8 Files To Police For More Inquiries

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The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Justice Jane Frances Abodo, has said, her office has rejected eight police case files that were sent to them for perusal in connection with the diversion of iron sheets meant for vulnerable people in Karamoja.

“We received eight files a week ago, we read them and we found out that there were inquiries to be done and we sent them back to the police to actually finish up,” Justice Abodo said yesterday on the sidelines of a week-long prosecutors’ symposium in Kampala.

The chief government prosecutor did not disclose the particulars of the said files and what needs further investigation.

So far, three ministers have been arraigned in the Anti-Corruption Court and charged over the Karamoja iron sheets saga that has since sucked in dozens of ministers and MPs.
Those who have so far been charged are Mary Goretti Kitutu (Karamoja Affairs) Amos Lugoloobi (State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development) and Agnes Nandutu (junior minister for Karamoja Affairs), who is still held on remand at Luzira prison.

Others are Mr Michael Naboya Kitutu, the younger brother of Minister Kitutu and Mr Joshua Abaho, the senior assistant secretary in the Ministry of Karamoja Affairs. Mr Abaho is expected to be officially charged tomorrow before the Anti-Corruption Court.

Further, the DPP revealed that she will expand her investigations to Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) officials. She also said she will inquire into the entire procurement process before she wraps up the iron sheets investigations.
She also clarified that her office will not be investigating goats that were also meant to benefit the people of Karamoja as she will for now be concentrating on iron sheets.

In 2021, the Karamjoa Affairs Ministry received a supplementary budget of Shs39b.
The supplementary budget was meant for the disarmament and community empowerment programme in Karamoja.

The money was to be used to procure goats and iron sheets for the reformed youth warriors known as karachunas and other vulnerable groups like the elderly and women in the sub-region.

Justice Abodo also denied allegations of selective prosecution of the ministers, explaining that some of the suspects could have given the iron sheets to many beneficiaries and that in such scenarios, they take a longer time to investigate compared to a suspect who gave the iron sheets to one beneficiary like a school.
“Some places are far away, so it’s not about the in-out method. If there is evidence, we actually take a particular file to court but if not ready, we ask the police to carry out further inquiries.”

In a related development, the DPP listed a number of achievements that her office has attained, including the launch of the virtual prosecutors’ academy, and complaints management feedback desk that was digitalised, among others.

She also assured the hundreds of prosecutors gathered from all over the country that there are high chances that starting July, the new financial year, their salaries will not be taxed like other civil servants.

It’s only the judicial officers and security personnel like the police whose salaries are not taxed.

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