Kaliro, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Richard Wandera is behind bars at Kaliro central police station for attempting to con the Chief Administrative Officer, Samuel Bigirwa. It all started when the suspect stormed the Kaliro district service commission offices on January 27th, 2023 masquerading as a state house employee.
He reportedly told the Commission secretary, Betty Baluka, that he was on assignment to investigate cases of extortion against the commission members. Baluka referred Wandera to Bigirwa. He told the CAO that he had been tasked to investigate cases of absenteeism and misappropriation of funds by a section of district staff.
Bigirwa directed him to avail his office with letters of reference from the State House before starting his inquiries in the district. However, the suspect didn’t show up as expected and switched off his phone. As a result, Bigirwa decided to check the registration of Wandera’s phone number only to discover that it was registered under the name of Pamela Nabwire, which raised suspicion.
Bigirwa filed a case of impersonation and fraud against Wandera at Kaliro central police station as the suspect kept on pestering him for money. Security operatives set a trap for the suspect and tricked him to pick up the case from Esteem primary school where he was arrested on Tuesday.
In his statement to the police, Wandera consents to impersonation charges but denies the extortion claims leveled against him. Kaliro district police commander, Nathan Male says that Wandera has been a wanted impostor. According to Male, the suspect impersonated a low-ranking UPDF officer from Somalia and antagonized the operations of police officers in the area before fleeing.
Male also notes that Wandera had taken advantage of the ongoing recruitment exercise of primary teachers in the district to disguise himself as a well-connected state house official with the ability to help them earn these jobs. He further says that Wandera at times disguises himself as an investigator from the Inspectorate of Government and extorts money from unsuspecting sub-county staff.