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Mayuge district councilor arrested over alleged theft of relief food

Mayuge, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Police in Busoga East on Thursday arrested Isaac Owori, the councilor Imanyiro sub-county, Mayuge district for alleged theft of relief items for victims of a hailstorm along Jagusi islands.

His arrest followed the recovery of 2.5 tonnes of posho and empty OPM branded plastic bags from his shop. Owori is currently detained at Mayuge central police station.

Other suspects who include; Timothy Etenu, the clerk to the council, and the Busakila sub-county councilor, Adam Kaleebi are currently on the run.

On July 15, officials from the Prime Minister’s office delivered 20 tonnes of posho, 10 tonnes of beans, and 240 pieces of iron sheets for the hailstorm victims, but Owori and his colleagues resolved to distribute the items amongst themselves.

The suspects had initially denied their involvement in the theft of food relief items, however, some of the items were recovered from Owori’s shop.

Twaha Wambedde, the Jagusi islands sub-county LCIII chairperson, says that he only learned about the delivery of the relief items after officials from OPM’s office contacted him to inquire whether the affected persons had received the food items.

“None of the Jagusi leaders including myself were involved in the process of officially receiving the food relief, even the councilors suspected of stealing these items hail from other sub-counties,” he says.

Wambedde notes he went to the Mayuge district headquarters to receive the items, but he noticed that the relief food was being ferried away on motorcycles.

Wambedde said that he alerted security personnel who started investigations into the matter, after sensing foul play.

“Normally when the government dispatches supplies meant for Jagusi islands, vehicles usually park at the landing site and the items are immediately loaded on waiting boats, however, I became suspicious after noticing the method of delivery was characterized by bureaucracy,” he says.

The Mayuge District Police Commander, Bashir Siriba says that they have intensified inquiries into the matter.

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