By Our Reporter
The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of Rwampara District found in Western Uganda has joined the long list of CAO’s that have been arrested over misuse of Parish Development Model funds.
Stephen Rubaihayo and the District’s production officer, Athanathias Gumisiriza were arrested on Monday on the orders of the district chairperson, Richard Owomugasho and the Resident District Commissioner, Jane Asiimwe Muhindo.
The arrest follows failure by the duo to account for Shs48 million meant for training and sensitization activities during a meeting held to discuss the PDM baseline data collection.
“When we asked them to account for the funds, they gave us uncoordinated responses yet we have people from over 35 groups testifying that they paid money for registration. We have statements from the police,” Ms Asiimwe said.
She added that some civil servants charged citizens Shs34,000 for the registration of beneficiary groups.
“During the formation of groups, civil servants solicited money per group and we have evidence of this. The CAO learnt about the incident, but failed to prevail or take action. The CAO and the production officer frustrated the recruitment of parish chiefs and the money was later returned to the Treasury despite clear guidelines from the permanent secretary,” he said.
Rubaihayo, however, accused the district PDM focal person, Amon Mutabarura of failing to notify him about the PDM circular that stipulates guidelines on the use of funds.
Mr Gumisiriza admitted that there were errors in the implementation of programmes.
“We identified the errors and asked those who had received the money to bring it back. We are sorry for these errors,” he said.
Owomugasho, who chaired the meeting, noted that the PDM programme has suffered challenges because of greedy public servants.
Both the LC5 boss and the RDC resolved that the officials be arrested so that investigations into the matter can commence.
The CAO and the production officer were later handed over to Adaadi Asiimwe, the officer-in-charge at Rwampara Central Police Station, for further investigation.
On the 8th September 2022, Ngora chief administrative officer Wadada Lawrence, Charles Elungat the Chief Finance Officer (CFO), Mackay Otai – the district planner, and Priscilla Asio – The District production Officer (DPO) were arrested for alleged embezzlement of Parish Development Model funds vide SD REF: 23/07/09/21.
Oscar Gregory Ageca, the east Kyoga spokesperson while confirming the arrest said;
“The above arrest was occasioned through information availed by whistle blowers and through coordination by the office of the Resident District Commissioner of Ngora district who had raised a concern of the embezzlement of funds of about 200,000,000/= (Two hundred million shillings) meant for a government program known as the Parish Development Model for the months of July and August 2022.”