CID arrests Dokolo officials over Shs700m fraud

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Dokolo district officials facing Nakalema's probe

The district engineer and the officials from the finance department of Dokolo district have been handed over to Police’s CID department to help with investigations into this mismanagement of funds and irregular payments to contractor Peham Construction Limited.

According to State House Anti-Corruption Unit, the Chief Administrative Officer [CAO] shares his work plan with the Ministry of Finance.

The unit [headed by Lt Col Edith Nakalema] which was visiting the district on Wednesday wondered how no one noticed that the health department had a ‘windfall’ of 112million shillings that couldn’t be explained.

In his response, the Dokolo CAO, Bbale Sanyuka, indicated that upon his taking up of office in January 2019, he inquired as to why the reported UGX 170M, he was informed that the money was used for emergency road repairs.

Victoria University

On the false variation of three (3) classroom block construction at Bataebwol Primary School, the CAO has invited the District engineer to explain how this UGX 11M was irregularly used.

District engineer said the total funding for road, RTI project, released were Shs512M.

Acandyang – Otururao road funds released were Shs407M for the sealing/fixing the road. The contractor was onboarded on 14th June 2018.

The Chief Finance Officer, Alex Ongom, confirmed indeed on 22nd June, 2018, a total of UGX 260million was paid out to the contractor, a 65% advance payment.

The District Health Officer (DHO) said he brought this to the attention of CAO, in writing, to find out who had sent health department this money and who was spending it.

“On 19th June 2018, the CAO didn’t write me, he wrote to the CFO requesting for an explanation the unknown and unbudgeted funds in the health department – please investigate how this money was sent to DHO’s budget and spent without his knowledge.”

The DHO indicated that since June 2018, there has been no explanation to him on how his department received the money and how it was spent.

When asked if the Shs11,800,000 that was paid in false variation of three (3) classroom block construction at Bataebwol Primary School, was raised before or after extra work was done, the district engineer indicated it was done after.

“I can’t inspect each and every project, I have project supervisors who should have noticed/picked this up,” the engineer said.

He explained that lightning arrestors weren’t installed.

When asked to verify, the Bataebwol Primary School headmaster shared that the lightening arrestors were installed on 19/03/2019, in the afternoon and not last year as indicated by the district engineer.

The driver of the new water Bowser/carrier given to the district fraudulently deployed to do unofficial work by the CAO and when it got damaged, disappeared from the district HQ.

Nakalema directed police to find and arrest him, to enable the investigation.

The Dokolo District Engineer, Internal Auditor, Chief Financial Officer and Sector Accountant – works, were handed over to CID to aid in the investigation of the mismanagement of over UGX. 700M in the district.

Lt Col Nakalema grilling the officials

Background

The head of the unit, Lt Col Edith Nakalema said they received a number of corruption-related complaints from Dokolo District.

That in the financial year 2017/2018, over 705 million meant for development projects was mismanaged. It is particularly alleged that;

In a recent audit report, it was found that a contract was awarded to a contractor (M/S PEHAM CONSTRUCTION LIMITED) at a cost of UGX 407Million on 14th June, 2018 – 16 days to the end of the financial year 2017/18.

The audit also noted that, eight days later – 22nd JUNE, 2018, a total of UGX 260 million was advanced to the contractor implying 65% payment.

The audit report noted that it was practically impossible for the contractor to have executed a satisfactory work within this short time frame warranting payment of up to 65% completion – RED flag.

The audit report also points that the balance of the contract sum amounting UGX 141 million was diverted for various payments allegedly without the approval and authority of the District Council.

Although this complain shows certain actions by the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) in the right direction, the Audit report does not recommend to the CAO of council any further investigations with a view of reprimanding the officials involved.

That UGX 174 million meant for construction of low cost sealing of 1.2 km of Acandyang – Otururao road was embezzled by CAO, CFO, and the District Engineer.

That UGX 112,258,192 was fraudulently warranted and spent under health department without the knowledge of the District Health Officers (DHO) and that the DHO is willing to testify.

That UGX 11,800,000 was paid in false variation of three (3) classroom block construction at Bataebwol Primary School in Adeknino Sub-County by the CAO and CFO, the head teacher is willing to testify.  

That a brand new water Bowser given to the District was fraudulently deployed to do unofficial work by the CAO and when it got damaged, the responsible people were not held accountable.

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