Tororo Municipality engineer Denis Okach, District Engineer Patrick Asaya, Inspector of Roads and Stores Assistant, were yesterday picked by a team from State House Anti Corruption Unit and Criminal Investigations Department, for allegedly conniving with different government agencies to defraud government of Shs427 billion meant for roads in the district.
These were netted during an impromptu visit by the State House’s Anti-Corruption unit, following a tip off from a whistle blower who intimated that despite the district receiving the said cash to construct roads, there was no single road done to this day.
Lt. Col Edith Nakalema who heads the State House Anti-Corruption Unit, quizzed the technocrats in a meeting at the District Council Hall over the expenditure of the said roads.
“Omaidu road, Wasakuru road, Okello-Awol road, do they have culverts? Because in the report of the municipal engineer, it is said that Shs49.8m was spent on those three roads, culverts were purchased and installed. But they are not there,” Nakalema posed.
The Municipal Engineer, Okach, however claimed the culverts and other materials had been bought and placed in the store pending fixing. However, he was not certain whether the material was existent or not.
The team then asked that they be guided through a tour of the area to ascertain if the roads had been constructed or any attempts to construct the roads whatsoever.
However, to the shock of the team and the the residents in the District, there were neither roads, nor anything that looked like roads, but bushes and footpaths.
During the tour process at Batanga road, residents shouted; “thieves, thieves, where are the roads?”
Nakalema later turned to the officials and asked; “What do you understand by the term road? Where is the road?”
“On the map which we have been asked to share, you will see that there is a gazette road here, but there are a lot of obstructions, we can not push away people’s houses. Those are the things which delay,” Okach said.
According to the reports received by the team, the said road had been accounted for and reports indicated there was constant maintenance of the same.
Okach struggled to convince the team about the presence of the road, yet it was very visible there was nothing like it. The team proceeded to yet another road, alas, there was no work done, no road, but money had been spent and accounted for clearly.
The budget report from the municipality had also indicated purchase of culverts which were purportedly fixed on many roads. However, the team discovered that the culverts had vanished.
“We are going with you to Kampala, the CID will get more information from you,” Nakalema decreed as the tour climaxed with no proof of roads.