State House Arrests Top Health Officials In Amuru Over Theft

2954 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Three senior officials of Amuru district local government were on Thursday morning arrested for various offenses, including lack of accountability and embezzlement of over 260 million shillings meant for health delivery in the district.

Three senior officials of Amuru district local government were on Thursday morning arrested for various offences, including lack of accountability and embezzlement of over 260 million shillings meant for health delivery in the district.

One of the officials, Komakech Santo, the Probation and Welfare Officer, is accused of stealing 8.5 million shillings meant for buying antiretroviral drugs for HIV patients.

Two other officers arrested include John Okwonga, the District Health Inspector and Esau Ngeca, the District Clinical Officer. Eight other senior officials from the district, all within the health department, are on the run after jumping a trap to get them netted.

The arrests follow a year of investigations by the Health and Drug Monitoring Unit of the President’s Office, which discovered several anomalies such as lack of accountability, embezzlement and outright theft of government money meant for drugs. The investigations also discovered cases of gross mismanagement of the health service delivery system in the district and absenteeism from work.

Dr. Diana Atwine, the head of State House drug monitoring unit confirmed that she is aware of the operation meant to arrest up to eight Amuru District officials. She said she had since last year demanded that the officials refund the money stolen but they kept dodging her in some cases.

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The Amuru RDC, Milton Odongo, confirmed to Uganda Radio Network the arrests of the three and said ten others are on the run. But he vowed to net all of them and bring them to answer for their mistakes.

A tough talking Odongo warned other district officials that the time for stealing government money meant for service delivery to the locals is over.

By 5pm on Thursday, the three were being transferred to Kampala, from where they will appear at the Anti Corruption court.