Five Mbale City Council authorities have been arrested over corruption scandals. They include; The Speaker of Mbale City Council Mariam Nambuya, Assistant City Health Officer Wandera Charles, Clerk To the Council, Annet Wabule, Former Northern Division Town Clerk Martin Busiku and Senior Huma Resource Officer Higenyi Abdu.
These were arrested over corruption-related offences including setting low reserve prices for revenue collection contracts leading to low revenue realization and frustrating the city’s development and service delivery goals.
Lieutenant Daniel Mayombo, a legal officer of the State House Anti-Corruption Unit revealed that in the financial year 2021/ 2022 while awarding revenue collection contracts, the city technical staff set reserve prices far below planned revenue prices to create room for embezzlement.
These include Hotel tax, put at Shs132 million (reserve price) against the projected Shs600 million reserve price, and City abattoir reserved at Shs54.6 against Shs108 million.
Ground rent and property rates were set at Shs120m against 33 billion all awarded to the same contractor Bangoma Investments Limited. Billboards and adverts contract awarded to MS Double Spot limited at Shs120 million against projected 383 million.
Others include markets and street parking.
Former Northern Division Town Clerk Martin Busiku is accused of Undervaluation of properties leading to low revenue for the city.
Busiku was also accused of conniving with councillors to embezzle Shs60.million meant to rehabilitate Nabuyonga Malarial drainage accounted but no work was done
Former Industrial Division Town Clerk Charles Wambede and Speaker Kasajja Musa are also wanted for embezzlement.
The duo is accused of conniving to embezzle DEG funds worth 120 million meant to procure 30 pieces of solar-powered lights however only 10 were procured at an exaggerated cost of Shs11 million each totaling to shs 110 million. And only 6 were delivered.
The senior Human Resource officer Higenyi Abudu was also accused of recruiting 400 ghost teachers on the payroll. Others who are on the run include one Donato a town agent, and former Wanale Division acting Town Clerk James Kutosi, among others.
The team is also expected to investigate land-grabbing and corruption scandals