The Bishop of Mbale Diocese, Rt Rev John Wilson Nandaah, has raised concern over the “selective” prosecution of Karamoja Affairs minister Mary Goretti Kitutu for allegedly mismanaging relief items meant for Karamoja Sub-region.
While delivering his Easter Sunday sermon at St Andrew’s church in Mbale City yesterday, Rt Rev Nandaah said it is irrational to “sacrifice” Dr Kitutu and leave others at large.
“We need to talk to the President over this matter and ask him to punish with mercy. He should forgive and pardon Minister Kitutu, who yielded to temptations and deviated the iron sheets,” Rt Rev Nandaah, said.
Dr Kitutu, 61, who also doubles as Manafwa District Woman MP and her brother, Mr Micheal Naboya Kitutu, 52, were remanded to Luzira Prison last Thursday on charges of allegedly diverting iron sheets meant for the Karamoja Community Empowerment Programme.
The duo returns to court on Wednesday for a ruling on whether they will be temporarily released on bail or not.
Last month, the Inspector General of Government (IGG) released a list of leaders who were being investigated for misusing the iron sheets. Those on the list included Speaker of Parliament Anita Among, Vice President Jessica Alupo, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, 22 ministers, 31 Members of Parliament and 13 chief administrative officers (CAOs).
Also charged but in absentia was Mr Joshua Abaho, 46, the senior assistant secretary of the Ministry of Karamoja Affairs in the Office of the Prime Minister.
Ms Kitutu was charged with two counts of loss of public property and one count of conspiracy to defraud.
Bishop Nandaah said it leaves many questions as to why other leaders who have allegedly misused billions of money are moving freely.
“Hon Kitutu shared the iron sheets with many leaders in this country. They all yielded to the temptations but we are seeing only one person being pinned. We are not doing justice by implicating only one person,” he said.
He added that the implicated leaders should instead be ordered to return the iron sheets so that they are redistributed to the intended beneficiaries in Karamoja.
“I know Minister Kitutu has been a very good leader. She has served this country diligently but temptations came and she yielded but she is not the only one,” he said.
During an interview with Daily Monitor earlier, leaders in Bugisu Sub-region said the prosecution of Ms Kitutu is unfair.
However, police is still carrying out investigations into the matter. Last week, the police took statements from the other ministers involved in the scandal.
Dr Kitutu previously served as State Minister for Environment and later as Energy minister before her current docket.
She was born in Namisindwa District.
Original Reporting: Daily Monitor