District boss, staff members arrested over abuse of office

witness

(Web photo) Kadir Kirungi campaign poster

By URN

The Hoima District LC5 Chairperson, Kadir Kirungi, and three members of his executive are behind bars for allegedly hiring out road equipment to an Indian investor in Kiryandongo district.

The others are Benson Chiche, the Hoima LC5 Vice-Chairperson, James Mugenyi Mulindambura the Kiganja sub-county LC 5 Councilor and Natural resources Secretary and Geoffrey Kumakech, the Buseruka sub-county LC5 Councillor and District Finance Secretary.   

The State House anti-corruption unit detained the officials when they appeared before the Criminal Investigations Directorate headquarters in Kampala on Monday to respond to various accusations leveled against them.   

“It is true the LC5 Chairperson together with three councillors have been arrested and we are investigating them on various offences. The offenses include hiring out district road construction equipment to an Indian investor in Kiryandongo. There are many other cases we are investigating them on,” said a source in the statehouse anti-corruption unit.    

The source also revealed that the officials are also accused of forgery on August 28, 2021 with intent to deceive. They allegedly forged the District Executive committee-DEC minutes and backdated them to June 22, 2021, to cover their dubious deals.

Last week, the Police and the State House Anti-Corruption Unit impounded the Road equipment in question from a private farm owned by an Indian investor in Kigumba town council Kiryandongo district for alleged misuse.  The unit comprises a grader and a Vibro roller machine.

The numbers of the two pieces of equipment had been plucked off. This led to the arrest of Hoima district engineer Ibrahim Luswata, works supervisor, Vincent Irumba and a mechanic attached to the district Charles Tibagwa. 

The suspects together with other top district officials are alleged to have connived and hired out the road equipment to the Indian, whose names haven’t been disclosed. In June 2017, President Museveni commissioned the road equipment worth more than Shillings 500b that was distributed to 121 districts.

Each district received a full unit consisting of one motor grader, one wheel loader, one vibro roller, one water bowser and two dump trucks. Each unit was valued at 2.7 Billion Shillings. The 1,151 pieces of road equipment were imported from Japan using a loan from the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation.  

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