In a significant development, three individuals from the Kaliro District Local Government have been apprehended on allegations of embezzling 5.8 billion shillings intended for the payment of civil servants and pensioners.
Among those arrested are Mr Godfrey Mutome, the chief administrative officer (CAO), Mr John Wabwire, the senior accountant in the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (former District accountant), and Ms Rebecca Kwagala, the Principal Human Resource Officer.
The Inspectorate of Government, led by Mr Frederick Oketch, the Regional Inspectorate Officer of the Jinja Office, spearheaded the arrest operation. While Mr Mutome and Ms Kwagala were apprehended in Kaliro District, Mr Wabwire was taken into custody in Kampala.
The investigation into the embezzlement case began approximately a year ago after a complaint was lodged, revealing that funds amounting to 5,806,767 shillings had been misappropriated.
Mr Oketch stated, “We managed to arrest all three suspects, and they will be presented before the Anti-Corruption Court.”
According to Mr Oketch, the suspects employed a deceptive tactic by establishing a Sacco (Savings and Credit Cooperative) account, through which they diverted funds from the district’s salary account under the guise of loan repayments for teachers.
However, further investigation determined that these loans did not exist, and the Sacco account served as a conduit for siphoning off stolen funds from district accounts. This illicit activity is in direct violation of Section 19 of the Anti-Corruption Act (2009).
The Inspectorate of Government revealed that these individuals have a history of similar offenses and were previously convicted of embezzlement.
Earlier this year, they were arrested for misappropriating 348 million shillings allocated for teacher payments, which also involved pension funds. Consequently, both charges will be prosecuted concurrently.
The suspects will face charges of embezzlement, causing financial loss, and money laundering. A report from the Inspectorate of Government indicates that Busoga Sub-region, where Kaliro District is located, has witnessed a disturbingly high number of payroll-related crimes, all of which contravene Section 19 of the Anti-Corruption Act (2009).