KAMPALA – The State Minister for Finance and Planning Amos Lugoloobi who is battling theft cases of public properties has been denied court bail.
Mr Lugoloobi who was arrested on Friday over mismanagement of iron sheets meant for Karamoja had on Monday afternoon appeared before Anti-Corruption Court for a case hearing and bail application.
He is accused of receiving up to 600 iron sheets said to be part of relief material that the government procured through the OPM for vulnerable populations in Karamoja, Teso, Northern Uganda, Luweero Triangle, Bunyoro sub-regions.
Lugolobi, also a Member of Parliament, Ntenjeru North MP in Kayunga district is the second minister to face trial in the scandal after the minister of Karamoja affairs, Mary Kitutu Goretti, who secured a court bail on Friday after spending a week in jail.
Mr. Lugolobi presented a number of sureties including; Ms. Mariam Naigaga, woman MP Namutumba district, Mr. James Kakooza – a member of the East Africa Legislative Assembly, Mr. Paul Mugamba, Dr. Keefa Kiwanuka – Kiboga East MP, Martin Sekajja – head operations, Uganda security systems company, Joseph Muvawala – Busoga Kingdom Primier, and Mr. Karisa Karangwa Moses, businessman and NRM Chairman Kayunga.
The Justice noted that he needs ample time to analyze the submitted documents to balance the interest of both parties and also ensure that the decision to grant or not grant bail is judiciously arrived at in a fair manner.
“For this reason, the ruling on this bail application is reserved for 20th April 2023 at 12 noon, and in the meantime, the accused person is remanded to prison.”
Lugoloobi had used the iron sheets meant for Karamoja relief to roof a shed for animals on his farm which he later removed last month calling them “evil”.
“I have realised that these iron sheets are evil and I no longer need them. Let me remove it so that I buy other iron sheets and re-roof my shed so that no one can lay claim that I owe them anything on my property,” he said after admitting to receiving them.
Earlier this week, President Yoweri Museveni blamed his ministers for trying to do the cheap popularity of fund-raising thus stealing to please their voters.
“The problem with the political class is that some of them have not internalized the NRM line on social-economic transformation and they, opportunistically, try to do the cheap popularity of fund-raising, giving mabaati, giving big numbers of bursaries, etc.”
“They end up with debts and desperate efforts to look for donations, efforts that can lead into mistakes of being tempted to divert what is meant for A to B,” President tweeted.
He called it a political mistake that can also be subversive.
“That mistake, however, is totally different from converting those items to personal use. That is no longer just a mistake, but theft.”
He also promised that all those involved will be handled appropriately.
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