Kitgum RDC Reinstated to Office

3153 Views Kitgum, Uganda

In short
On January 08th, 2014, Irene Akwankwasa, the chief magistrate of the anti corruption court cleared him on both charges.

The office of the President has reinstated Captain Santos Okot Lapolo as Kitgum Resident District Commissioner. Okot was interdicted on November 17, 2011 for embezzlement and abuse of office. He was accused by the Inspectorate of Government of stealing 760 iron sheets meant for the return and resettlement of former internally displaced persons in Pader district and abuse of office.
Prosecution produced 23 witnesses to pin Okot but anti corruption court declared three of them to be hostile witnesses after they turned against the state and testified otherwise. In her ruling, Irene Akwankwasa said prosecution failed to adduce sufficient evidence to pin the captain down. On January 08th, 2014, Irene Akwankwasa, the chief magistrate of the anti corruption court cleared him on both charges.

Following his acquittal by the anti corruption court, the office of the president wrote to Okot reinstating him back to office. In a January 14th, 2014 letter signed by Deborah Katuramu, on behalf of the office of the president Okot will be paid, the money that was deducted from his salary when he was on interdiction. Lapolo says the iron sheets he distributed to the people of Agago district before taking up his posting in Kitgum district were all withdrawn from the beneficiaries and kept at Kalongo Police Station as exhibit against him.
Wielding his clearance and reinstatement letters, Okot vowed to stamp out corruption from the district as he assumed office on Wednesday.

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Beaming with smiles from cheek to cheek, Okot said the trials he underwent have reinvigorated his fire to fight corruption in the district. He outlined three priority areas including uniting the divided Kitgum district leaders, quality service delivery and fighting corruption.

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Luo Byte

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Bilark Jalmoro who has been acting as the Resident District Commissioner, Kitgum district pledged to work together with the embattled RDC. He thanked Captain Okot for supporting him even when he was on interdiction.


About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.