Three Officials of RWIDE, a local NGO have been arrested for misappropriation of funds meant to resettle the Batwa in Bundibugyo district.
Three officials have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the misappropriation of more than 150 million shillings meant to support the resettlement of the Batwa in Bundibugyo district.
Mark Mwagushya, the executive director Rural Welfare Improvement for Development (RWIDE), Moses Mbahulirwa, the treasurer and Rashid Irumba, the accountant were arrested on Tuesday morning in Nyahuka at the Uganda –DRC border in Bundibugyo district.
The three have been on the run since last year, but were arrested by detectives attached to Bundibugyo CID Office.
In 2010, Rural Welfare Improvement for Development (RWIDE), a local non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Kyenjojo district, started the Batwa Homestead project proposal meant to improve the lives of the Batwa.
The sh150m project was then funded by the European Union (EU).
The money was budgeted to procure 16 acres of land in Bundimasoli village, Kasitu sub-county in Bundibugyo district and the resettlement of the Batwa in a homestead comprising 22 semi-permanent structures with roofing sheets. The settlement was also supposed to have adequate sanitation facilities like pit latrines for at least 90 inhabitants.
A craft centre where the Batwa women were supposed to sell their crafts and generate income was also supposed to be constructed at Ntandi cultural village.
However investigations carried out by the police in Bundibugyo revealed that only one pit latrine for the 90 residents. The craft centre was badly constructed and it collapsed two months after.
No piece of land was procured and some of the structures were constructed on a disputed piece of land.
Moses Irumba, the CID officer Bundibugyo district says that since last year the three officials have been under investigations, after King Geoffrey Nzito of the Batwa complained to the police that the funds were misused.
Irumba also says that police are also hunting for two other staff of RWIDE.
The alleged misappropriation of funds forced some of the Batwa to return to Semuliki National Park because of lack of accommodation.
Last year Nzito wrote to the Inspector General of Police, Lt. Gen. Kale Kayihura requesting him to intervene in the matter because the police in Bundibugyo were slow at investigating the matter.
Nzito claimed that the police could have been bribed by RWIDE officials to abandon the investigations.
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semuliki national park