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Tororo Town Clerk, Municipal Engineer picked up over bridge funds

Tororo town

Tororo, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Tororo Town Clerk, Paul Omoko and the Municipal Engineer Francis Okema are in trouble for the alleged embezzlement of over sh180 million meant for the construction of Kagera Bridge.

Officers from the State House Anti Corruption Unit arrested the two officials from the Tororo municipal offices on Tuesday after failing to account for sh180 million out of the sh214 million they received from the Ministry of Works and Transport to work on the bridge.

The duo’s trouble started after several community members raised concerns over the shoddy and stalled bridge works.

An official from the legal department of the state anti-corruption unit told our reporter on condition of anonymity that the two officials falsely accounted for the compensation of people affected by the bridge construction.

He revealed that the officials indicated that they paid Shilling 26million to the project affected persons yet they only paid Shillings 800,000.  According to the source, the suspect also claimed that they had paid local labourers and machine operators, which wasn’t the case. The unit has slapped the officials with three counts of embezzlement, conspiracy to defraud and abuse of office.

The unit also arrested five other people from Tororo municipality who are accused of illegally transferring the ownership of the Lions Park into private ownership.

Those arrested for transferring the ownership of Tororo Lions Club to private ownership are believed to have conspired with the senior lands management officer and the former Chairperson of the Area land committee to unlawfully transfer the public land way back in 2015 despite the fact Tororo Lions Club Host Ltd was registered in 2017, two years before their dubious acts.

The anti-corruption unit spokesperson, Emmanuel Bunya, said the officials ignored the advice of the secretary of the land commission against changing the customarily owned land to freehold without a title or a letter from the former owner.



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