Lt Col Nakalema storms Lira over Shs350m embezzlement scandal

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Lt Col Edith Nakalema's team meeting Lira officials

State House Anti-Corruption Unit led by Lt Col Edith Nakalema has Tuesday visited Lira district following complaints received through various helplines.

Nakalema said her team received a number of corruption-related complaints from Lira District relating both to Lira Municipal Council and Lira District Local Government.

With regard to Lira Municipal Council it was particularly alleged that there was an ‘air’ supply of cement and lime worth UGX 7,800,000 which was reported to Police vide Lira CRB/258/2018 but there are attempts to close the file.

About UGX 36,000,000 was irregularly withdrawn from the Lira Municipal Council Bank Account in DFCU bank purportedly following a court order issued to Colorado Investment Limited after Council officials disregarded to file a defence in court.

This money was later shared between the company and Council Officials.

About UGX 22,048,800 claimed to have been banked on the Council’s DFCU Bank account by Lira Resort Enterprises on 22nd October 2017 was not reflected in the bank statement of November and as only stealthily re-banked on 14th December 2017 with the excuse that there was a system failure.

About UGX 9,158,000 requisitioned for a Traffic Flow Survey vide voucher no. PVS 04318 was withdrawn and shared among some officials and no activity undertaken.

That contracts for the collection of fee/rent from the main market, toilets and abattoir were irregularly awarded to companies all associated with one Edwoko Basil.

Further that the contract for the supply of firewood and sand was awarded to a councillor Fred Walter Minyang.

The contract for the management of Coronation Park was also irregularly awarded and the contractor is remitting only Shs2.5m instead of the Shs5m agreed.

Unfortunately, officials including internal auditor, district planner, municipal engineer and the municipal internal auditor were not present despite prior notice.

LIRA DPC was requested to search for these officers and cause their appearance in the meeting.

With regard to Lira District Local Government it was particularly alleged that Mr. Odora Boniface, Senior Accounts Assistant, was implicated in the loss of over UGX 350,000,000 and he confessed to taking only UGX 30,000,000 only and promised to pay back.

He was arrested, but the case file has disappeared from the Police and he has been recalled by the District Local Govt.

Odora served in the District for 13 years (2004-2017) without any formal appointment yet he has been carrying out transactions on behalf of district.

Odora abused authorized the loading of fuel to various vehicles some of which have been grounded since 2011 and some private cars and as a result UGX 34,000,000 was lost.

Odora while assigned to manage the District payroll inflated his salaries and those of other staff including an irregular transfer of UGX 27,000,000 to the account of a Sr. Probation Officer.

About UGX 28,000,000 sent by Ministry of Health for the sanitation fund in the 1st Quarter 2018/19 was mismanaged and only 6,000,000 was used and accounted for. Mugambe James (Principal Barlonyo Agro Technical Institute) embezzled UGX 88,098,000 meant for the institute in FY 2017/18 and he was interdicted but his interdiction was lifted under unclear circumstances.

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