In a recent development, Karamoja Affairs Minister, Dr. Mary Gorretti Kitutu, has sought the court’s permission to travel abroad when necessary for her official duties as a cabinet minister and Member of Parliament for Manafwa District. The minister faces corruption-related charges linked to the loss of 9,000 iron sheets designated for vulnerable constituents.
Dr. Kitutu, accompanied by her legal representatives, made the request, and a ruling date has been scheduled by Judge Jane Kajuga.
She cited her formal invitation and clearance by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) to attend the Inzu Masaaba-UK 10th-anniversary event in the United Kingdom (UK) from November 23 to December 5, 2023. Additionally, she mentioned her nomination by the National Focal Point (NFP) to participate in the United Nations Climate Change Conference 28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for 18 days, spanning from November 24 to December 12, 2023.
Dr. Kitutu emphasized the significance of these high-level meetings as part of her official duties and responsibilities, necessitating occasional international travel.
She reassured the court of her commitment to adhere to her bail terms and conditions, promising not to evade the court’s jurisdiction and to return promptly to the country upon completing her ministerial obligations.
In her application, Dr. Kitutu also highlighted her marital status and parliamentary responsibilities.
However, the prosecution, led by Jonathan Muwaganya, presented an affidavit from Senior State Attorney Ms. Safina Bireka, objecting to the minister’s request. Bireka argued that the minister had filed a human rights violation application, which is pending determination. The trial court must issue a ruling within 90 days of filing such cases, and Kitutu’s absence could complicate this process.
Bireka also contended that Kitutu’s simultaneous attendance at two separate international events would be impractical.
The trial judge, Jane Kajuga, has scheduled October 3 for the ruling on the minister’s travel request.