Kapchorwa Woman MP Released On Bond

9580 Views Kapchorwa, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
Phyllis Chemutai, the Kapchorwa Woman Member of Parliament, is out on bond after being detained on Thursday for diverting government solar panels and distributing them to her supporters.

Phyllis Chemutai, the Kapchorwa Woman Member of Parliament, is out on bond after being detained on Thursday for diverting government solar panels and distributing them to her supporters.
 
Chemutai and two others reportedly diverted government solar systems worth millions of shillings for her political gains. Her accomplices who were also released are Paul Cheptai, the head teacher at Kawowo Secondary School in Kapchorwa and Jeram Katto, a senior technician at Trans-African Solar Supply (TASS).
 
They were arrested yesterday and held for more than three hours before they were granted police bond.
 
Chemutai together with the two had reported to the office of the Resident District Commissioner in Kapchorwa when she found a team of the district security committee in a meeting over the same issue.
 
Jane Frances Kuka, the Kapchorwa RDC, handed them over to the police for questioning. They were grilled for more than three hours, when they were asked to record statements before they were granted police bond at about 6:30pm.
 
Philips Mageni, the Kapchorwa officer in charge of the Criminal Investigation Department, said the case has been registered under the general inquiry file.
 
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He explained that the MP and two other suspects were granted bond as investigation into the matter continues.
 
He said their files will be forwarded to the Resident State Attorney for legal advice.
 
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Mageni explained that Cheptai and Katto were arrested for taking part in the diversion. He said they recovered some of the systems at Cheptai’s home.
 
Kapchorwa deputy RDC, Robert Mulemo, told Uganda Radio Network that the solar system funded by the World Bank and was meant for post-primary schools and health centres in the district that are not connected to the power grid.
 
He said government through the ministries of Health and Education contracted TASS to supply and install the facility to beneficiaries in Kapchorwa. He said they were shocked to learn that the equipment that government purchased and delivered to the district in April 2013 was diverted by the woman MP.
 
Mutemo said he led a team of security operatives who recovered 29 solar batteries, 12 boxes of solar panels and its accessories. He said they recovered them from a store at Kapchorwa Commercial Farmers’ Association, where the MP had allegedly kept them. All the panels had labels for the ministries of Health and Education.
 
Mutemo said they also recovered some of the systems that had already been installed at different homes belonging to the Chemutai’s supporters who told the police that they were donated by the MP. Some of them are Rev. Canon John Kissa of Tegeres Sub County, the MP’s father in-law and Joseph Kiprotich from Kapchesome Sub County.
 
Chemutai has denied any wrong doing. She says whatever was in her possession does not belong to government but she lobbied from her friends abroad. She blames her trouble on some of her political opponents who want to tarnish her name.

 

About the author

Denis Olaka
Denis Olaka is the URN bureau chief for Lira, in northern Uganda. Apac and Otuke fall under his docket. Olaka has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Olaka started his journalism career in 2000 as a news reporter, anchor, and then editor for Radio Lira in Lira district. He was subsequently an editor with Lira's Radio Wa in 2004 and Gulu district's Mega FM.

He was also a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers.

Olaka's journalism focuses on politics, health, agriculture and education. He does a lot of crime reporting too.