10 January 2019

Uganda: District Officials Arrested Over Missing Car Engines

Lyantonde — Two Lyantode District officials have been arrested for allegedly swapping the engines of government vehicles without the consent of the council.

Both district officials are accused of switching two double cabin pick-up engines with those of saloon cars (Premio). The two vehicles whose engines were swapped are Toyota Helix Registration number LG 0001/77 for the district speaker and Ranger Ford registration number UG 124R that belongs to the water department.

The duo's trouble stems from an investigation conducted by the district public accounts committee which showed that the engines of two vehicles belonging to the district had been changed without council approval.

John Bosco Kisekka, the Chairperson Lyantonde District Public Accounts Committee, said that they were forced to forward the matter to the police because they had failed to get convincing explanations from the suspects about the missing engines.

He said one of the suspects used private garages to change the vehicle engines yet the district contracted two garages to handle all issues related to repairs and distribution of spare parts.

John Katakanya, a member of the committee, said they consulted technicians at Elizabeth and Bukenya Garages that were contracted by the district who told the committee that they have never conducted any engine changes and repairs as the official claims.

Preliminary police investigations indicate that the suspect connived to swap the engines since he sanctioned payments to for the change of engines unauthorized mechanics without council approval.

One of the suspects has however dismissed the claims by the Public Accounts Committee, saying they are baseless and aimed at tarnishing his name.

He recently told journalists that he doubted if the committee members have the capacity to differentiate between the engine for a saloon car and double cabin pick-up.

Mr Vincent Ssekate, the spokesperson of criminal investigations directorate confirmed the duo's arrest, saying that investigations into the matter have kicked off.

"We have asked the district authorities to hand over the vehicles whose engines were swapped to help us during our investigations," he said.

The duo is held at Criminal Investigations Directorate headquarters at Kibuli, Kampala where they had reported to record statements on Wednesday.


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