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June 13, 2024
Kampala Daily

10 Government Officials Remanded Over Embezzlement

Ten officials from the Bugiri District Local Government are facing charges and have been detained at Luzira prison. They are accused of causing a loss of Shs1.2 billion in teachers’ salaries during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The accused include Ezakuru Kazimiro, the former Chief Administrative Officer of Bugiri District Local Government, Mustapha Nyende, the district’s finance officer, and senior accountants Minsa Atoire and Fred Bazibu.

Other suspects are Henry Kabulo, the district education officer, Haruna Kamba, the Deputy CAO, Paul Moses Isiko, the district production officer, and Fred Ikaaba and Muhammad Kyonda, the district engineer and planner respectively.

The group was apprehended on Monday, March 11, 2024, by officials from the Inspectorate of Government. This followed complaints from several district employees about their missing salary arrears.

It is alleged that between March 2019 and December 2022, Ezakuru, who is currently the CAO of Madi-Okollo District, along with Mr. Nyende and Atoire, irregularly initiated, validated, and approved payment of salary arrears amounting to Shs1.2 billion while knowing that their actions would result in a loss to the government.

The Inspectorate of Government asserts that the other seven suspects, including District Education Officer Mr. Kabulo Henry and Deputy CAO Haruna Kamba, facilitated the irregular payments, thereby causing a loss of Shs1.2 billion to the government.

The accused appeared before Chief Magistrate Joan Aciro on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors Ernest Katwesigye and Nabirye from the Inspectorate of Government informed the court that investigations into the matter are complete. They have prepared 92 witnesses, including Bugiri District Local Government employees whose salaries were misappropriated.

The accused have applied for bail citing health reasons and their constitutional right. They presented sureties, including relatives and friends. However, they have not been released as the state has requested an adjournment to adequately respond to the bail application.

The accused have been instructed to return to court on Thursday this week.

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