Minister Kitutu faces fresh summons over financial loss in OPM funds

Minister for Karamoja Affairs Mary Gorreti Kitutu while in court

Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | The Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court in Kampala has summoned Ms. Mary Goretti Kitutu, Minister in charge of Karamoja Affairs, along with other officials, to answer fresh charges of financial loss in OPM funds on February 29, 2024.

The accusations involve causing a financial loss of Shs1.5 billion to the government by allegedly neglecting peace-building activities in the Karamoja sub-region.

Ms. Kitutu is jointly charged with Geoffrey Seremba, the accounting officer in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Magezi Deogratius, the under secretary, and head of the Pacification and Development Program department, and Tracy Atuhairwe, an accountant from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).

These charges, approved by the Inspector General of Government (IGG), Beti Kamya, allege that between February and June 2022, Kitutu, as Minister for Karamoja Affairs, failed to execute peace-building activities, resulting in the Shs1.5 billion loss.

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The IGG dropped corruption charges against five other OPM officials, maintaining charges against Seremba and Magezi for allegedly authorizing the payment of Shs2.2 billion without due diligence for peace-building activities.

Magezi and Seremba appeared in court on Wednesday to enter a plea on the new charges, with Grade One Magistrate Christopher Opit maintaining their earlier bail terms at the request of their lawyer.

Minister Kitutu is concurrently facing charges related to the theft of 14,500 iron sheets intended for Karamoja’s vulnerable communities. Her court appearance for the hearing of these charges is scheduled for February 12, 2024.