Kalaki District officials arrested over misappropriation of Funds

Kalaki District officials arrested over misappropriation of Funds
Anti-graft teams are scouring local governments in Teso with several arrests being made | Eddy Enuru

Christopher Okumu, the chief administrative officer of Kalaki District, and Kyalaire Omagor, the district education officer, have been taken into custody on the orders of State Minister for Ethics and Integrity Rose Lilly Akello and the State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SHACU).

Okumu has been detained at Kalaki Central Police Station following allegations of failing to provide a detailed account to the Directorate of Ethics and Integrity at State House regarding the misallocation of funds for various projects within the district.

Omagor was arrested over mismanagement of Shs800 million UGIFT funds for the construction of a chain-link fence at Kakure Senior Secondary School in Kakure Subcounty.

Sources reveal that Ministry of Education and Sports allocated Shs800 million to Kalaki yet the district only awarded Shs542 million to the contractor.

When questioned by the team led by Minister Akello, Omagor was unable to account for the missing money, sources said.

He also failed to provide the minister with bills of quantity and to clarify on the delay in the project execution.

CAO Okumu is faulted for allegedly diverting Shs17 million earmarked for the construction of the Opilitok-Kaberpila Road in Otuboi Sub-county during the FY 2022/2023.

Omagor was ordered to write a statement at the police for also failing to present BOQs for Shs542 million as project manager for the fencing of Kakure Seed School in Kalaki.

Investigations reveal that the road development project was halted due to the misappropriation of funds by the former Senior Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, Mr George Euchu, who diverted the allocated resources.

Despite Mr Euchu's written commitment on October 17, 2023, to refund the misused funds to the current Senior Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, Mr Patrick Abongi, no reimbursement has been made, and the road remains untouched.

Furthermore, Mr Okumu failed to provide pertinent information regarding the misuse of Shs350 million intended for the restoration of the Abalanga-Imat-Amua-Surambaya Road.

The reports further highlighted several anomalies, including the collapse of the bridge linking Kalaki to Alebtong District, the absence of gravel surfacing on the road, and the lack of installed road signs.

Mr Okumu was also grilled over the interdiction of Kalaki Town Clerk Richard Eliau, and Treasurer James Opali on charges of severe financial misconduct, embezzlement, and misappropriation of public funds, which affected service delivery.

The district council accused the town clerk and treasurer of mismanaging public funds from 2019 to present, citing instances such as the absence of a physical plan for Kalaki Town Council since its inception in 2019 despite an allocated budget of Shs29.3 million in the FY2019/2020.

The matter is currently under investigation, and more details will be provided as they become available.

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