At least 14 technical and support staff of Kitgum District Local Government spent the night in custody at Kitgum Central Police Station on allegations of squandering the Parish Development Model (PDM) funds.
The suspects include Joel Musisi, the Chief Administrative Officer, Alex Opira, the Principal Commercial Officer, Michael Ogweng, the Senior Probation and Welfare Officer, Denis Ocira, the district Agriculture Officer and Dr. Alfred Kinyera, the district veterinary officer.
Others are Stephen Omwony Lakwonyero, the Principal Assistant Secretary to the CAO, Alfred Omony, the district Production Officer, Juliet Akello, an office attendant, and Alex Otim, the Chief Finance Officer among others.
The suspects were picked up on Monday on the orders of Jovin Kalisa, the Deputy National Coordinator of the Parish Development Model in the Office of the Prime Minister following complaints lodged against the suspects for the alleged embezzlement of funds disbursed to the district for the PDM program implementation.
Kalisa says the implicated officers utilized and signed for over Shillings 526.3 million, approximately 80 percent of the total amount disbursed to the district purportedly for administrative activities during the initial implementation of the PDM program.
It’s reported that the suspects spent the money for mobilizing different stakeholders for training and rallying the masses on the program, meals, transport allowances and fuel instead of disbursing the funds to the different beneficiary groups as stipulated in the program implementation guidelines.
Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech, says the arrest also follows prior investigations by the Inspectorate of Government that was in the district for a weeklong investigation and recommended that the finance department recovers the lost funds by making deductions on salaries, emoluments, and allowances or through voluntary remittances.
However, the implicated officers remained adamant about the directive. Komakech says that they have only recovered Shillings 45million out of the Shilling 526.3 million which was misappropriated by the implicated officers.