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

Maracha Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Mr Paul Walakira

Officials from the Inspectorate of Government (IG) on Friday arrested the Chief Administrative officer of Maracha for allegedly failing to interdict four district officials implicated in the alleged mismanagement of Shs1.9 billion construction of Kololo Seed Secondary School. 

Mr Paul Walakira was arrested from his hideout in Koboko town after disappearing from office for more than two days.

The four Officials who were recommended by the IGG for interdiction include the district Engineer Mr Timothy Ezati, the district Education Officer Ms Flavia Osoa, the Chief finance officer Mr Stephen Candia and the internal auditor Mr Paul Abiribale. They were arrested in June in this year.

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

The Regional Officer for Inspectorate of Government, Mr Paul Othieno, said: “In this circumstance, the CAO Maracha Mr Paul Walakira was ordered to cause interdiction of four officers, the internal auditor, the CFO, the DEO and the district engineer and his assistant. But the CAO defied those orders thereby contravening section 14 (5) of the Inspectorate of government Act.”

Mr Othieno said the CAO was given a grace period of one week to act but he ‘stubbornly’ refused.

Asked why he did not act, Mr Walakira told this publication as e was being whisked away by the police that: “I received the letter and I was in the process of acting on it.”

Mr Othieno revealed that the CAO will be charged with disobedience of lawful orders and abuse of office.

In June this year, Anti-corruption unit in liaison with police in West Nile arrested the six government officials in Maracha District over alleged mismanagement of Shs 1.9 billion meant for construction of Kololo Seed secondary school.

The officers allegedly generated and signed a certificate of payment of the money to the contractors and yet work had not been done.

In 2019, Kololo Secondary school located in Kololo west Village, Vura parish Tara Sub-county Maracha District secured funding for construction of classroom blocks, laboratory in order to boost learning.

According to the head teacher of the school Mr George Yiki, the site has currently been abandoned by the construction workers after they failed to get paid for their services.

"The school has been here for more than 28 years. We have been pressing the government and in 2019 we got a chance to be taken and funded, however the construction work is incomplete and very shoddy,” he said.

He added: “Majority of the workers were not paid and even materials collected around were also not paid for. We had hope that if these are completed it would help in addressing the pressure on infrastructure.”

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