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Local gov’t PS dispatches team to investigate corruption in Abim

 Abim, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Local Government, Ben Kamumanya has sent a team to Abim district to investigate allegations of corruption, fraud and misuse of public funds.

The team is led by Charles Mwijukye, the senior inspector Ministry of Local Government.

It will investigate misuse of an unspecified amount of funds for the last two financial years, irregular payment of contracts and mismanagement of funds.

The investigation was requested by Abim district council and the RDC Abim, Samuel Mpimbaza Hashaka.

Part of the investigation also includes the expenditure of about 720 million shillings meant for boreholes which have remained non-functional.

According to a report by the then secretary for technical services, Vincent Mitala, only one borehole had been repaired yet the water department had alleged that the district had rehabilitated 10 boreholes in 2018/19 financial year.

Other queries include the inflated costs of repairs of part of the district fleet. For example, it’s alleged that more than 50 million shillings was used for routine maintenance of a National Agricultural Advisory Service- NAADS vehicle.

According to Hashaka, in the last financial year, one company was awarded 16 contracts raising queries about its capacity to complete projects within the agreed time.

Mwijukye confirmed the probe in a telephone interview but declined to disclose details.

“Yes, the PS has asked me to lead a team to investigate corruption related allegations in Abim, but I can’t disclose the queries and the officials involved because we haven’t yet concluded the investigation. I will report to the PS after our probe,” before he hangs up.

Hashaka, says that another team from the State House Monitoring Unit is due in the district to investigate the 165 million shillings Covid-19 money which has never been accounted for.

In 2018, Abim district officials including the then Chief Administrative Officer, the Chief Finance Officer, the Abim District Procurement Officer and ten others were probed by police over fraud, corruption following complaints from the district council.

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