Former Lira Town Clerk, Principal Accountant Face Investigation Over Ex-Gratia Money Top story

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In short
Geoffrey Ogwal, the Speaker Lira Municipality, says they have resolved to invite the State House Anti-Corruption Unit to investigate what happened to the money.


Four other Lira Municipal Officials are also facing trials including the deputy Town Clerk, Patrick Ogweng, Mayor, Ogwang Olwa, Engineer Fred Owiny among others.

Lira Municipality Councilors want the State House Anti-Corruption Unit to investigate the disappearance of Shillings 39 million meant to pay the Ex-Gratia of division councilors.   


The money was disbursed to Lira Municipality during the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 financial years to effect payment of the ex-gratia of 75 councilors for five quarters in vain.   

Geoffrey Ogwal, the Speaker Lira Municipality, says they have resolved to invite the State House Anti-Corruption Unit to investigate what happened to the money. 




He particularly wants the team to investigate former Town Clerk, Assy Abireebe and former, Principal Finance Officer, Patrick Awio since the money was sent during their tenure of service.   
 



Jonal Okot, a Councilor at Ojwina Division, says they have already filed a complaint with the State House Anti-Corruption unit calling for immediate intervention in the matter.   





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Mike Ogwang Olwa, the Lira Municipal Mayor, says as the Executive Committee, they are in total support of the councilor's decision. 


Ogwang says whereas police in Lira is already investigating the matter, they are demanding for special investigations by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit. 




Samuel Ahabwe, the acting Town Clerk Lira Municipality, says the money in question was sent before he took over office, saying his predecessors should be able to explain what happened. 



Ahabwe says that he has ordered for an internal audit to establish how the money was spent, adding that they were forced to pay the councilors using local revenue collection. 


Each councilor received Shillings 525,000 for five quarters. Abireebe has confirmed that the money was sent on the municipal accounts but didn't divulge how it was spent.



Col. Edith Nakalema, the head of State House Anti-Corruption Unit, says the petition is undergoing review, saying they will soon act. He asked the councilors to follow the laid down guideline in demanding for accountability.  


 
Both Awio and Abireebe are already facing trial before the Anti-Corruption Court for alleged embezzlement and abuse of office following their arrest by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit. 


Four other Lira Municipal Officials including the deputy Town Clerk, Patrick Ogweng, Mayor, Ogwang Olwa and Engineer Fred Owiny are also facing trial for alleged embezzlement, flouting procurement procedures and abuse of office.      

 

About the author

Ronald Odongo
Ronald Odongo is the URN Bureau Chief Lira, Northern Uganda.A multimedia Journalist, Media trainer and investigative enthusiast. Lira,Apac,Dokolo,Oyam, Kwania, Otuke, Amolatar,and Alebtong districts fall under his docket. Odongo has been a URN staff member since 2012 though he had been a contributor since 2006.

Odongo started out as a bicycle reporter for Radio Unity in 2004. He was Radio Rhino FM's senior reporter, Luo news anchor and station producer between 2006 and 2011. Odongo started out as a freelance writer for Uganda Radio Network in 2006.

Odongo is particularly interested in reporting on community health, and education concerns. Good governance and human rights beats are dear to Odongo as a former Lord’s Resistance Army rebels captive 1996-1998.