By CHRISTINE AWOR
APAC, Uganda |SHIFTMEDIA| Graft issues is threatening Apac Local Government Administration, new reports indicate.
The district Council session that sat on Friday November 19 2021 unearthed scores of an accounted funds pitting the new Chief Administrative Officer.
The district council put the CAO on task to give detailed accountability of used funds and efforts geared towards combatting embezzlement in seven days.
There was a protracted heated debate and verbal exchange as the Assistant Treasurer Apac District Andrew Awany faced off with his boss the District CAO, Grandfield Omonda.
Awanyi assured Omonda that he was not doing much to address corruption, especially embezzlement of public funds in Apac.
He warned Omonda to stop shielding district officials who embezzle government funds.
“We need clear reports of all funds received when we hold the next council session,” said Awanyi
CAO defends self
Feeling betrayed, the District CAO defended himself by distancing himself from any wrong doing.
Grandfield Oryono Omonda refuted all allegations heaped on him and instead asked the District council to first investigate before pointing fingers.
He promised to present clear reports to the council when it sits again on Friday November 26 2021.
He appealed to the council to learn how to harmonize situation and work together without apportioning blames.
The Resident District Commissioner Apac Ngabirano Emmy ‘Okello’ promised to continue investigating the issue further.
Background to the woes
The corruption and embezzlement claims come at the backdrop of a recent report released by the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID).
CID was investigating seven Apac district officials on allegation of embezzling Ugx 400 million in an orchestrated salary scum.
CID Spokesperson Charles Twine identified the suspects as Ekwang Tonny Paul, the Chief Financing Officer, Edoko Tom the Human Resource Officer, Sam Otim the District Education Officer, Ebongo Godfrey the Accounting Officer, Wanje Michael the former Chief Administrative Officer and Ochen David the data entrant.
Police say the group created a list of district workers who included teachers and health workers claiming that they had missed salary for some months which translated into arrears. The data information process that is supposed to be generated human resource was evaded using the finance department.
Investigators say even the alleged documents claiming for arrears of health workers that were supposed to be cleared by the District Health Officer were instead signed by the District Education Officer, later approved by Chief Administration Officer and Chief Financial Officer.
The alleged beneficiaries of the arrears were not informed about the development but they found millions of money on their accounts. A total of 21 teachers and health workers suspiciously received the money on their accounts. Some receiving as much as shs35 million in their accounts.
The district officials took advantage of the missing District Service Commission that is tasked with recruitment.
The suspects fraudulently accounted for the unused funds, that they later shared amongst themselves, as well as trusted relatives and friends.
The case is being investigated under Apac CRB 551/2021 and so far 21 people have recorded statements including the seven top district officials.
For one to claim arrears, he or she must make a claim in writing through the Head of Department, attach an appointment letter, a bank statement purposely to show salary for that particular month (s) was not paid and fill the Human Resource pay change form.
“All these well-laid procedures for claiming arrears were flouted. Nothing on file to show the alleged claimants existed. The recipients were not involved in the process but they only show the money on their accounts. One of the recipients declined to withdraw the money and demanded answers,” Twine said.