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Three Kaliro district staff arrested over embezzlement of Shs6b for salaries, pension

This is not the first time the suspects had been arrested over embezzlement after the same trio were earlier convicted by court over sh348m diverted funds for personal benefit.

KALIRO, UGANDA: A team from the Inspectorate of Government have arrested three staff of Kaliro District on allegations of embezzling Shs5.8 billion meant for paying civil servants and pensioners.

The suspects who include Mr Godfrey Mutome, the Kaliro chief administrative officer (CAO), Mr John Wabwire, the former District accountant, and the Principal Human Resource Officer, Ms Rebecca Kwagala were arrested on Thursday by the IG team led by Mr Frederick Oketch, the Jinja Office Regional Inspectorate Officer.

“We received a complaint where it was alleged that officials of Kaliro District Local Government had embezzled funds meant for staff pension and salaries; so, we commenced investigations about a year ago and established that a total of Shs5, 806,767 was embezzled,” Mr Oketch told this website on Thursday.

He added: “We managed to arrest all the three suspects and they will be arraigned before the Anti-Corruption Court.”

According to the IG statement, Mr Mutome and Ms Kwagala were apprehended from Kaliro District, while Mr Wabwire who is currently a senior accountant in the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development was arrested in Kampala, his duty station.

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It is alleged that the trio using their positions of influence created their own Sacco account through which they would reportedly pick money from the district’s salary account and credit the Sacco account as though they were recovering loans from teachers.

“Our investigations discovered that such loans never existed, but the suspects were simply using the Sacco account as a conduit through which to channel stolen money from district accounts. We investigated and their activities were found contrary to Section 19 of the Anti-Corruption Act (2009),” Oketch said.

The IG also learnt that this isn’t the first time the suspects had been arrested over embezzlement after the same trio were earlier convicted by court over sh348m diverted funds for personal benefit.

“In March this year, we arrested these same people for embezzling Shs348m meant for paying teachers, and this is still also arising from pensions; so, both charges will be running co-currently,” Mr Oketch explained.

He added that the suspects will be charged with embezzlement, causing financial loss and money laundering.

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A report from the Inspectorate of Government indicates that Busoga Sub-region has the highest number of payroll-related crimes, all contrary to Section 19 of the Anti-Corruption Act (2009).



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