Maracha CAO arrested for failing to interdict district officials named in Shs1.9b corruption scandal

Government Inspectorate (IG) officials arrested Maracha’s chief administrative officer on Friday for allegedly failing to bring down four county officials implicated in alleged mismanagement of the construction of Kololo Seed Secondary School.

Mr Paul Walakira was arrested at his hideout in Koboko town after missing the office for more than two days.

The four officers recommended by the IGG for banning include District Engineer Mr Timothy Ezati, District Education Officer Ms Flavia Osoa, Chief Financial Officer Mr Stephen Candia and Internal Auditor Mr Paul Abiribale. They were arrested in June this year.

Maracha Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Paul Walakira (C) is led to a waiting IGG truck following his arrest September 23, 2022. PHOTOS/CLEMENT ALUMA

Regional Commissioner for Government Inspection Mr. Paul Othieno said: “Under the circumstances, the CAO Maracha, Mr. Paul Walakira, was ordered to obtain a ban on four officers, the internal auditor, the CFO, the DEO and the district engineer and his assistant . But the CAO defied these orders, in violation of Section 14(5) of the Inspectorate of Government Act.”

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Mr Othieno said the CAO had been given a week’s grace period to act but “stubbornly” refused.

Mr. Othieno announced that the CAO faces charges of disobedience to lawful orders and abuse of office.

In June this year, the Anti-Corruption Unit in conjunction with West Nile Police arrested the six government officials in Maracha district for alleged mismanagement of Shs 1.9 billion earmarked for the construction of Kololo Seed secondary school.

Officials reportedly prepared and signed a certificate of payment of the money to the contractors, and yet the job hadn’t been done.

In 2019, Kololo Secondary School in Kololo West Village, Vura Township, Tara, Maracha Subdistrict secured funding to build classrooms and laboratories to encourage learning.

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According to the school’s principal, Mr George Yiki, the construction site has currently been abandoned by the builders after they failed to receive any money for their services.

“The school has been here for more than 28 years. We pressured the government and in 2019 we got a chance to be grabbed and funded, but the construction work is incomplete and very shabby,” he said.

He added: “The majority of the workers were not paid and even the material collected was not paid. We had hope that their completion would help address the pressure on infrastructure.”

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