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Sub county chief arrested over bribes extorted from savings groups

Kennedy Ocaya, the Luuka district police commander confirmed arrest. Courtesy photo

Luuka, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Police in Luuka district on Friday arrested Jowali Byakika, the sub county chief of Nawampiti sub county in Luuka district, over soliciting bribes from 20 village saving associations-VISLAs, which had each received two Million Shillings from the parish community association-PCA program.

The police also arrested the community development officer, JuliusMagumba, Zainabu Nakiyemba, the parish chief of Nakiswiga parish and Penninah Kasubo, the parish chief of Nawankompe parish, whom they accuse of conniving with Byakika to solicit bribes from the beneficiaries, as a way of appeasing them after they successfully secured funds that were aimed at helping them in recapitalize their small scale enterprises.

It is reported that each parish was meant to access 30 Million Shillings and in turn each group would receive three Million Shillings, however, the sub county officials declined to approve the withdraw of all the funds and instead tasked them to partially withdraw 20,000,0000 arguing that, only those VISLAs who agreed to pay a service charge of 200,000 Shillings would be cleared to access the remaining one Million Shillings.

Grace Ngobi, a member of one of the beneficiary groups says that he approached police authorities after receiving constant threats from sub county officials.

“Those very officials escorted us to the bank and after withdrawing the money, they immediately wanted us to give them a kick back which we earlier declined. However, after a week, I agreed to pay them 150,000 Shillings but they kept on harassing me as they demanded for more money,” she says.

Hamis Bikado, the Luuka district community development officer who coordinates the PCA program says that he has received complaints of bribery from several beneficiaries and is currently liaising with all relevant authorities to ensure that such matters are thoroughly investigated and the culprits prosecuted.

The Luuka district police commander, Kennedy Ocaya says that investigations are underway and the suspects will be prosecuted before the anti-corruption court.

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