Ministry of Karamoja Affairs Senior Assistant Secretary Remanded over Corruption

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Joshua Abaho, a Senior Assistant Secretary (SAS) at the Ministry of Karamoja Affairs, was remanded to Luzira prison today, April 27, 2023, by the Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala on charges of corruption and conspiracy.

Abaho works in the Ministry of Karamoja Affairs as Minister Kitutu’s Personal Assistant. He is claimed to have diverted 5,500 gauge 28 iron sheets belonging to the state.

Abaho’s remand stems from his involvement in corruption-related offenses, including scheming with his boss, Mary Gorreti Kitutu, between June 2022 and January 2023 to defraud the government by diverting iron sheets intended for vulnerable people (Karachunas) in the Karamoja Subregion.

Chief Magistrate Joan Aciro has charged Abaho on two counts of loss of public property and corruption on the same file where Kitutu and her brother, Michael Naboya Kitutu, were previously charged.

According to the prosecution, Abaho received the iron sheets by virtue of his position for purposes of custody and distribution under the said program.

However, Abaho denied the charges and, through his lawyers led by Paul Kutesa, asked that the court release him on bail on grounds that he is innocent. The bail was denied by the court as his sureties could not meet the bail terms because their bank statements reflected low balances and therefore don’t demonstrate that they have the financial capacity to pay the monies involved in this case.

Chief Magistrate Aciro adjourned the case till May 2nd when he will appear again in court. He was therefore remanded to Luzira Prison while the court decides on his bail application.

Abaho is currently the fifth suspect to be charged in the iron sheets scandal. Others charged include Minister Kitutu, her brother Naboya, Minister for Finance and Economic Planning Amos Lugoloobi, and the State Minister for Karamoja Affairs Agnes Nandutu, who is still on remand.

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