The Head of the Anti-Corruption Unit at State House Lieutenant Colonel Edith Nakalema has strongly appealed to all students in Uganda in general and West Nile sub-region in particular to be vigilant ambassadors in the fight against corruption.
‘We cannot fight corruption without you the bright minded young people, the young generation of tomorrow, the leaders of tomorrow. It is your chance to start hating corruption of all sorts. I appeal to you to be ambassadors of fighting corruption in your beautiful country,’ she said.
Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema was yesterday on yet another swift lightening speed mission to Arua Municipality on a verification visit following reports received in her office of misappropriation of road funds by officials of Arua Municipality and complaints of mismanagement of funds at Arua Public Secondary School by the Headteacher of the school Mr. Adimo Mark Alaba.
She made the remarks to the students at Arua Public Secondary School after an impromptu visit to the Municipality Offices where the head teacher was exonerated of all the accusations labelled against him of having embezzled over Ug. Shs. 200 million and also mismanaged the administration of the school among others.
The head teacher Mr Adimo Mark Alaka denied of any wrongdoing dismantling eloquently and articulately all the accusations one by one.
Mr Alaba, however, referred the non-accountability of funds amounting to over Ug. Shs. 90 million that accrued from the hire of the school bus by the UNHCR to the Bursar of the school who was directly responsible for receiving cash. The Bursar Ms Frances Dokotho failed to give a satisfactory explanation and was therefore handed over to the CID officials to help in the further investigation.
Lieutenant Colonel Edith Nakalema who conveyed warm greetings from the President and Mrs. Janet Museveni ,the Minister of Education and Sports to the staff and students of Arua Public Senior Secondary School, urged them to shun corruption in their homes and communities and work hard for their country in order to make Uganda a better place to live in.
‘We want you to have it in your minds that you have decided and are determined to say that we don’t want corruption in our homes, corruption in our hearts that you are going to work hard for our country to make Uganda a better place than you found it,’ she counselled.
In her verification meeting with Arua Municipality Officials, Lieutenant Colonel Nakalema and her team discovered that over Ug. Shs. 400 million meant for the construction of the roads Mango, Staff Lane and Afra had been diverted for other activities in the Municipality.
When tasked to explain why the funds were diverted, the Chief Financial Officer (Principal Treasurer) Arua Municipality Mr Erejo Rajab Kamil said he diverted the funds in anticipation of recovering the money from other municipality revenue collections that never happened.
He added that the money diverted was used for councillors’ emoluments, downsize wages and miscellaneous expenses.
The Arua Municipality Mayor Mr Kato Isa Afeku, however, denied having authorized the diversion of the funds by his council.
When the team visited the roads in question they found that work had started on Mango road where the first layer of bitumen was spread but due to the delay of providing funds the layer has started peeling off necessitating a fresh spread leading to the loss of money to the government.
On Staff road, materials that included sand, culverts and hardcore were purchased, however, work would not commence due to lack of funds.
Afra road had signs of shoddy work as potholes were already taking toll of the road and the side pavements at the sidewalks were disintegrating.
On ascertaining that all was not well, Lieutenant Colonel Edith Nakalema handed over the matter to the CID officials for further management.