The former Nwoya now Obongi District Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Andrew Leru, has been forced to pay Shs30.6m which is part of the misappropriated Parish Development Model (PDM) programme funds in Nwoya District.
His forced refund came after it was realised that only Shs104m was on the district PDM programme account with the rest having disappeared without any clear accountability, according to the Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr Christopher Omara.
This prompted the PDM Deputy National Coordinator, Ms Jovrine Kaliisa, to direct for the arrest and detention of Mr Leru at Arua police station on January 17, 2023, from where he refunded the money that was handed back to Nwoya district leaders on Wednesday, January 18, 2023.
The refund leaves a balance of Shs66m out of the Shs208m that was allegedly mismanaged by the district technical staff which Ms Kaliisa and RDC Omara vow to recover.
The same act had led to the arrest and detention of 14 Nwoya district local government officials on October 24, 2022, at Nwoya police station before they were released hours later after they reportedly confessed to having embezzled the money and committed themselves to refund it in two weeks’ time.
Ms Kaliisa warns district technocrats appointed to spearhead the PDM programme against mismanaging the funds emphasising that all culprits will be brought to book.
The central government wired Shs413m to the Nwoya district PDM programme account to benefit 44 parishes in the 2021/22 financial year, reveals RDC Omara.
Mr Omara vows that relevant authorities will continue mounting pressure on any civil servants who abuse their offices by encouraging corruption instead of serving the community diligently.
“We [Nwoya RDC’s office] are not giving up any sooner as far as monitoring government programmes is concerned. After the PDM, we are heading to Emyooga, departmental auditing and many others,” he says.
Mr Omara says the current scenario has driven the concerned authorities to organise a public dialogue on January 31, 2023, to ensure public fund accountability.
The district councillor for Anaka town council, Mr Daniel Opiyo Okumu, challenges leaders entrusted with public offices to ensure that they participate in monitoring government programmes to ensure people get the services they ought to for the betterment of the community.