The account was frozen after Charles Otai, the former Kitgum Chief Administrative Officer was interdicted for corruption.
Activities of various sub projects under the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund-NUSAF in Lamwo have grounded to a halt following the freezing of Kitgum district accounts. It is estimated that more than 3 billion shillings is lying idle on the Kitgum district accounts. The account was frozen after Charles Otai, the former Kitgum Chief Administrative Officer was interdicted for corruption.
At the time of designing NUSAF II, Lamwo was still part of Kitgum district. As a result, funds for implementing NUSAF activities in Lamwo were disbursed through the Kitgum district accounts. Following the interdiction of Otai, the ministry of Local Government appointed David Kawooya as Kitgum acting CAO but he was rejected by the district executive. The ministry blocked the district accounts because of the absence of a substantive CAO.
Now, Lamwo officials are worried that the bickering in Kitgum district may make their district lose out. Mathew Akia Okeny, the LC V chairperson of Lamwo says that the blocking of the Kitgum district account is unfortunate for his people.
He says that over 100 sub projects desperately need funds to implement their activities. Akia says that they have started negotiating with World Bank and the Office of the prime minister to have the funds directly transferred into the Lamwo district accounts.
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Okeny says that they have already opened a NUSAF account in preparation to receive the funds directly.
He is hopeful that after the discussions, money will be channeled to the district accounts directly so that the implementation can kick off.
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Denis Okech, the chairperson of Padibe Youth Ox traction sub projects says the two district must act fast to save the situation. Okech is worried that several projects may miss out because of the delay to release the funds. Assumpta Oroma, the treasurer Atwol Widows group blames the mess on Kitgum district executive. She says that they wouldn’t be experiencing any problem if the district executive had not rejected the appointed CAO.
She wants Kitgum district to take the responsibility to ensure that the funds for Lamwo district are remitted. Stella Opu, the Kitgum district NUSAF desk officer has not yet commented on the matter as attempts to speak to her office and phone were futile.