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Six arrested, others wanted as Minister Ogwang storms Luuka to monitor gov’t projects

Some Luuka Civil Servants who were arrested on orders of Minister Ogwang [Photo: Simon Peter Isabirye]

LUUKA, UGANDA; Several civil servants in Luuka district were made to sweat as the State Minister for Economic Monitoring, Peter Ogwang questioned them for allegedly messing up several government projects and mismanagement of the Taxpayer’s Money.

Ogwang stormed Luuka district and first engaged the district leaders and civil servants before moving to the field to check on the projects.

The minister was shocked by the corruption tendencies that have disrupted the success of government projects and mismanagement as well as swindling Covid-19 funds among others.

This forced the Minister to direct Luuka police led by the District Police Commander (DPC), Oese John Fautine to arrest and get statements from the implicated officials who included; the District Engineer, Musisi Alajab, Water Engineer, Makinabu Yahaya, District Education Officer (DEO) Kamyuka Francis, among others.

However, some civil servants were not arrested by press time but Daily Express understands that the orders of the Minister still stand. However, police is hunting for them amidst shunning their offices for fear of arrest.

Those arrested immediately were three and include; Town Clerk Luuka Town council, Maganda Siraji, Assistant district engineer, Tabandika Twaha, and Ikumbya Sub-county chief, Balaza Patrick. These are charged with embezzlement of funds as well as misuse of public offices.

Minister Ogwang said, ”My observation for the small time I have been in office for 4 months specifically in this docket where I’m in, is that we must change the way we have been doing things”.
Ogwang said that there are people, whom he termed as parasites and pigs, who are eating up the system and pledged that he will no longer tolerate any officer who is corrupt since they were employed under terms and conditions of public service.
”There are parasites and pigs who are eating up the system, we can no longer tolerate any officer who is corrupt. So far for that matter, you know very well that you were employed under terms and conditions of public service,” Minister Ogwang said.

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According to the findings, the road of Kitwekyambogo reflects 100 million without any standard feature yet it was meant to bear stone trenches as it was planned but its money was swindled. The standard road was meant to cost 40 million after completion according to genuine documents.
Ogwang was shocked to learn about a ceiling of Kiwalazi Health Centre costing 43 million yet its standard was very poor. This forced him to reach Kiwalazi and was eventually shocked.

”You people have been saying Museveni is a bad person but now I have discovered who are the bad people and those are the few civil servants who are eating money which Museveni is sending here, an example is that health centre with a ceiling costing 43 million. This money can build Medical houses for our nurses there but I want to tell you that we are going to deal with those people because their days are finished and we shall continue arresting many like we have done today,” Ogwang said.

The waiting shade which was constructed at Maternity Ward of Kiyunga health center IV was meant to cost less than 10 million but the officials indicated that it cost 25 million. Ogwang also said that Covid19 money was mishandled in the district.

One classroom at Budhuba primary school in Ikumbya Sub-county was only plastered and officials reflected 17 million, this prompted the Minister to arrest the Sub-county chief Balaza Patrick.

Minister also ordered the arrest of former LC 3 Chairperson Nawampiti Sub-county, Sajja Igaga Awali, for swindling money meant to construct Nabikuuyi- Nawankompe road in the previous financial year but instead, the road is being worked on in the current financial year.

Ogwang as well ordered the arrest of Jowabu Byakika, Sub-county chief Nawampiti Sub-county, for allegedly eating PCA and Covid19 funds.
This is after the ministers found the projects lagging behind with several defects, yet the government-financed everything.

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Ministers Ogwang warned police against mismanaging the files of the officers, adding that the officers must be produced in court to answer the charges of corruption and neglect of their duties.
He noted that these officers who have made the government lose a lot of money that would help to deliver services to local people.

”Police should be very careful and avoid mismanaging of files of these officers and they must appear in the court of law. These officers have since made the government lose a lot of money that would help to deliver services to local people,” Minister said.
“I will be a bad person to the corrupt but will be a good person to those who want this country to reach middle-income status. I want to challenge the corrupt that your days are numbered. You either accept to do what is within the law of the country in line with the public finance management act or resign,” said Ogwang.

Byabasheija Rosemary, the Luuka Resident District Commissioner (RDC), her deputy Bwire Paul Ogalo, Wakaze Simon, the District LCV Chairperson, said that such monitoring exercises help the government to realize gaps in service delivery, corruption and improve service delivery. They commended the work done by the Minister of exhausting corrupt civil servants.

They appealed to the central government to at least have such kind of exercises of monitoring every financial year to complement the district’s efforts in supervising and monitoring government projects to ensure good service delivery.
The operation also involved Luuka district internal security officer, Musiwa Sam.

Meanwhile, Daily Express has learned about other arrests by security in Luuka on orders of the Minister just a day after his visit in the district. The arrested on Tuesday include; Bukanga Sub-county chief, Tezitya Ruth, Bukanga Sub-county accountant, a one Ssenfuka and the Headteacher Buwologoma primary school in Bukanga, Balikowa Samuel, for misuse of public funds and abuse of public offices.

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