IGG wants OPM officials interdicated over Sh1billion public funds

The Inspectorate of Government (IG) has recommended the dismissal of three officials from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in Lamwo District implicated in the mismanagement of Shs 1.2 billion.

They are Julius Kamuza, the settlement Commandant, Byasali Kabi the Protection officer, and Armitage Basikania, the Desk Officer, all working at Palabek Refugee Settlement. 

The suspects are accused of having a hand in the mysterious disappearance of Sh 840 million from a project account meant for the construction of community centers and fencing Zone 1 in Palabek Refugee settlement.

The World Bank provided the money under the Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP) implemented by OPM.

 A report from the IG indicates that part of the project money banked on account number 3100082 at Centenary Bank Gulu Branch was secretly transferred on April 30th this year without the knowledge of the project implementers.

James Penywii, Director of Project Risk, Monitoring and Control at IG told URN in an interview on Wednesday that Sh 80 million was recovered on May 5th, 2022 from a female suspect after a tip from whist blowers.

He says the suspect had earlier withdrawn Shs 190 million on May 4 from an account at Centenary Bank Bwaise Branch.

IG investigations indicate that the money had been transferred to account number 3202610167 at Centenary Bank Bwaise Branch where the suspect identified as Brender Nakalanzi is a signatory to the account.

Nakalanzi was remanded to Luzira prison on Friday last week for causing the government a financial loss after appearing before the Anti-Corruption court chief magistrate, Joan Aciro.

 Nakalanzi, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, is accused of stealing Shs 270million belonging to the government.

Penywii says that the suspect claimed that she was offered a contract for the construction of community centers and fencing in Zone 1 in Lamwo district but their investigations proved otherwise.

He says they have already written to the Public Service Commission to interdict the implicated OPM officials pending the completion of their ongoing investigations.

Owing to the reported mismanagement of the DRDIP Project around the country, IG on Wednesday kicked off a refresher training for community trainers in Gulu City.

The three days training attracted participants from nine Civil Society Organizations selected by IG with the aim of equipping them with skills to monitor government projects and crack a whip on corrupt officials.

The Deputy Inspector General of Government, Dr Patricia Achan Okiria told URN in an interview that the training will help to empower CSOs to monitor government projects and report embezzlement of funds and shoddy implementation of projects.

She notes that the training comes at the backdrop of challenges encountered in the implementation of the DRDIP project in which OPM hadn’t been closely working with district leaders to monitor the project.

Dr. Achan cautioned the community trainers to desist from colluding with wrong elements implicated in the abuse of government projects by taking bribes, saying that they won’t hesitate to arrest them.

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