Eight remanded over Karamoja iron sheets scandal protest
What you need to know:
- Court heard that on March 28, 2023 at Ben Kiwanuka Street in Kampala District, the accused persons assaulted Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Flavia Nsimenta, an officer who at that time was executing her duty.
The Buganda Road Magistrate’s Court has remanded eight activists to Luzira Prison on charges of assault allegedly committed as police moved to arrest 11 people who were protesting delayed prosecution of ministers and MPs implicated in the iron sheets scandal.
The activists who were arrested in downtown Kampala on Tuesday for protesting corruption and delayed prosecution of suspects involved in the iron sheets scandal that has sucked in top officials in President Museveni’s government were arraigned before Grade One Magistrate Asuman Muhumuza on Thursday.
Those who were remanded include Moses Bukenya, Nelson Ndyasiima, Sanyu Najjuma, and Sharif Kawooya. Others are Augustine Batanda, Gilbert Nayebare, Shafia Ssegawa and Teddy Ssemakula.
The activists who are members of the Revolution Against Dictatorship (RAD) and Torture Survivors Movement pressure groups carried iron sheets demanding the government to give justice to the vulnerable people of the Karamojong sub-region who were the intended beneficiaries of the iron sheets by prosecuting the senior officials involved.
Court heard that on March 28, 2023 at Ben Kiwanuka Street in Kampala District, the accused persons assaulted Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Flavia Nsimenta, an officer who at that time was executing her duty.
The Prosecution led by Jean Nayebare told Court that investigations into the case are still on going and asked for an adjournment to gather more evidence against the suspects.
But their lawyer Samuel Wanda informed the court that his clients were tortured while in detention and as such they need medication. He added that the suspects have sustained abdominal, chest, and back pains as a result of the beatings while in police custody.
Muhumuza ordered the Uganda Prisons Services to ensure that the suspects access proper medication. He remanded them to Luzira prison until April 12, 2023 as investigations continue.
Last month the Karamoja Parliamentary Group formally wrote to the Clerk of Parliament, Adolf Mwesige notifying him of their intent to file a notice of motion for the censure of the Karamoja Affairs Minister Mary Goretti Kitutu.
Although the Presidential and Foreign Affairs Committee chaired by Adjumani District Woman Member of Parliament Jesca Ababiku had started probing the scandal, President Museveni also directed CID and the State House Anti-corruption unit to jointly carry out investigations into the scandal.
The named beneficiaries of the iron sheets included Vice President Jesca Alupo, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, first deputy Prime Minister Rebecca Kadaga, third deputy Prime Minister Rukia Nakadama and Finance Minister Matia Kasaija.
Other beneficiaries include Government Chief Whip Hamson Obua and junior Agriculture minister Bwino Kyagulaga. Ministers Kasaija and Kadaga have separately acknowledged receiving some iron sheets, but said these were unsolicited.
Finance State minister Amos Lugoloobi, who had used part of iron sheets for roofing a shed on his farm, plucked them off and called them evil roofing materials.