7 December 2012

Uganda: Three Quizzed Over Money for Bududa IDPs

The Police have quizzed three officials from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) over the disappearance of sh1.5b meant for the Bududa landslide victims.

Cyprian Dhikusoka, the principal disaster preparedness officer, his assistant Emmanuel Oketcho and the project engineer, Henry Walusimbi, were questioned on Wednesday and Thursday.

The officials from the disaster preparedness management department were yesterday quizzed about accountability and alleged inflated quotations for housing units for the Bududa internally displaced persons, who were resettled at Kiryandongo.

Earlier, the suspects had been summoned on charges of forgery, embezzlement, abuse of office, causing financial loss and conspiracy to defraud.

Several other suspects, who include Immaculate Nyangoma and Rachael Nakiwege, all assistants to Dhikusoka, are to be quizzed. Others are Tahkker Irani (a fuel dealer) and Parbat Hikari (a stationery dealer).

Efforts to get a comment from the director of the Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Directorate, Grace Akullo, were futile. But sources said detectives still had unfinished business with the three, adding that they would reappear at Kibuli on Thursday.

Sources revealed that the suspects were accused of forging accountability, as well as constructing few and sub-standard houses for the IDPs.

The March 2010 Bududa landslides claimed hundreds of lives and left thousands homeless, prompting the Government to relocate over 5,000 people from Bulucheke and Bukalasi sub-counties in Bududa to Kiryandongo district in October 2010.

The Police has since arrested several officials in the ongoing probe where at least sh15b was allegedly deposited on the personal accounts of employees in the OPM.

The Police detectives travelled to Kiryandongo last month with Dhikusoka and several other OPM officials to establish whether there was value for money in the project.

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