The Director of Public Prosecutions has cast her net wider in the ongoing investigations and subsequent prosecutions over the Karamoja iron sheets scandal to include officials at the Office of the Prime Minister, this website has learnt.
“We are going to move even to the Office of the Prime Minister to investigate the officials there. We shall also investigate the procurement of these iron sheets so that we really wrap up this issue of iron sheets and close it neatly,” the DPP, Jane Frances Abodo told journalists on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of this year’s National Symposium of Prosecutors at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.
A dozen of cabinet ministers and 16 lawmakers were implicated in a scandal in which 10,000 iron sheets earmarked for distribution to vulnerable communities in Karamoja Sub-region were misappropriated.
The iron sheets were procured using part of the shs39.9 billion supplementary budget meant disarmament and community empowerment program for the reformed youth warriors known as Karachunas and other vulnerable groups like the elderly and women in the Karamoja sub-region.
Four people including Mary Goretti Kitutu, Amos Lugoloobi and Agnes Nandutu as well as Kitutu’s brother, Micheal Naboya Kitutu have been arraigned in court over the Karamoja iron sheets.
Prosecution led investigations
Speaking on Tuesday afternoon, the DPP said more ministers and other high-ranking government officials are lined up for court.
Abodo said for every beneficiary of the Karamoja iron sheets, the DPP opened a separate file for easy handling.
“In case the evidence and file are ready, we shall definitely take them to court. This is prosecution guided, faster, more focused and we have gone from people just appearing to people being committed. We want at least by the time we take cases to court, even those we haven’t committed, at least we are ready to proceed when the judicial officer says so. When the iron sheets scandal started, we sat down with my prosecutors and director of criminal investigations and came up with a plan on how to proceed,” Abodo said.
“We looked at the number of iron sheets involved, who requisitioned them, who are the beneficiaries, how did they come to get the iron sheets, and decided to separate files. We have different people, others it is the Personal Assistants who have requisitioned the iron sheets, others it is the ministers or MPs. Then we have to go to where they took the iron sheets to see.
We would have failed if we had one file because it is different regions and different beneficiaries. Some people gave all the iron sheets to one school or hospital but others gave to many people and institutions. We have to get to the bottom of each of them. Some areas are far away and others are very near. Sometimes we have to go back not once, not twice but many times.”
The Director of Public Prosecutions insisted that if there is evidence, there will take that particular file to court.
“ If we still need to do further inquiries, we send them back to police to finish up.”