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Another Uganda Minister is Docked

FILE: In the same corruption case, Karamoja Affairs Minister Mary Goretti Kitutu, 61, arrives at the Anti-Corruption Court where she was charged with fraud and causing loss of public property in the diversion of roofing sheets, in Kololo, Kampala, Uganda, April 6, 2023.

KAMPALA - A third Ugandan minister was charged on Wednesday with corruption in a widening government scandal over the alleged theft of thousands of metal roofing sheets intended for a relief program in the northeastern Karamoja region.

On Wednesday Agness Nandutu, the state minister for Karamoja Affairs, was remanded in prison by a Kampala judge after pleading not guilty to "dealing with suspect property," according to court papers seen by Reuters.

Nandutu was accused of receiving 2,000 roofing sheets from government stores "which she had reason to believe were acquired as a result of loss of public property."

Prosecutors have already charged two other lawmakers in the same case, including Uganda's junior finance minister. The relief program is being run by the prime minister's office.

The country's leading prosecutor, Jane Frances Abodo, told a local radio station her office had opened parallel investigations into dozens of other officials, including the vice president.

Corruption investigations against ministers are rare in Uganda.