Site engineer detained over theft of Kaguta Road construction materials

Site engineer detained over theft of Kaguta Road construction materials
The suspects disembark from a police pickup truck

The suspects were taken into custody following accusations of theft from a construction site in Malare.

MBALE CITY | Police in Mbale City have in custody a site engineer and three others over theft of materials intended for the construction of Kaguta Road.

The suspects were taken into custody following accusations of theft from a construction site in Malare.

Hamza Banga, deputy resident city commissioner for the Industrial City Division revealed during a press briefing that the suspects are currently in custody at Nauyo Police Station (SD 19/28/02/2024).

Kaguta Road, significant for its historical relevance as an escape route used by President Museveni during his protracted guerilla war on the government of the early 1980s, has been subject to neglect and deterioration over the years, exacerbating challenges for residents, particularly school children and boda boda operators.

The suspicious activity was first intercepted by the Malare lC1 defence secretary, Safe Muniafu.

"I told them that the vehicle will not leave until they explain what was going on," Muniafu said, as he confronted the officials who had loaded cement and hardcore onto an Isuzu truck registration number UAZ 211W.

Muniafu's demand for accountability was met with insults, prompting him to call for reinforcement from the residents.

The officials were subdued by the overwhelming presence of angry residents, prompting the swift action of police.

Area councilor Twahilu Bwanga disclosed that the group had initially pilfered 35 bags of cement in three separate incidents.

Bwanga higlighted frustration of the community due to the unmotorable state of the road affecting school children and boda boda cyclist.

Moses Mwambu, the LC1 chairman of Marale Cell, commended the residents for the vigilance and cooperation exhibited while confronting the officials.

RCC Banga lauded the swift police intervention, which prevented potential mob justice against the suspects.

He underscored the frustration within the community regarding recurring thefts by city council workers, despite government funding allocated for road construction projects.

The Ministry of Finance released over Shs500m out of the Shs1bn earmarked to all local governments in Mbale to boost the state of roads.

The residents also linked pilferage of construction materials to shoddy works in public projects since the contractors are said to use less material to cover up for what they have diverted.

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