A Senior Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Karamoja Affairs, Joshua Abaho, has been remanded to Luzira Prison by the Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala on charges of corruption and conspiracy to defraud.
He is accused of conspiring with his boss, Minister Mary Gorreti Kitutu, to defraud the government of iron sheets intended for the Karachunas of Karamoja. Abaho was charged with the loss of public property and corruption related to the diversion of 5,500 iron sheets of gauge 28 belonging to the state.
The prosecution alleges that the iron sheets were meant for the Karamoja Community Empowerment Programme but were diverted for purposes unrelated to their intended use and for the benefit of third parties.
Abaho denied the charges and requested bail, offering a land title in his name as surety, but the prosecution objected to his bail application, arguing that his sureties did not have the financial capacity to meet the terms of the bond.
He presented five sureties, Kenneth Mugumya Tibijuka the Assistant Commissioner in the Ministry of Education who is also his elder brother, Johnson Musinguzi his cousin and Assistant Commissioner Ministry of Works and Transport and Geoffrey Ndiwalana the Engineer for Makindye Sabagabo Municipal Council.
Other sureties are Simon Peter Kasyate his nephew who is also the Deputy Director of Public and Corporate Affairs at Kampala Capital City Authority and Simon Tumwesigye Karokora his Cousin, brother who also doubles as the Customs Supervisor at Uganda Revenue Authority.
The case has been adjourned until May 2nd, and Abaho has been sent to Luzira Prison until then.
Kitutu and her brother Naboya, who were previously charged in the same case, had their bail bonds extended. Abaho is the fourth suspect to be charged in the Iron Sheets Scandal, following Kitutu, Naboya, Minister for Finance and Economic Planning Amos Lugoloobi, and State Minister for Karamoja Affairs Agnes Nandutu, who is still on remand.