10 January 2019

Uganda: District Engineer, Finance Officer Arrested Over Missing Car Engines

Lyantonde — Lyantonde District Engineer and the chief finance officer have been arrested for allegedly swapping engines of powerful government vehicles with weaker car engines, without the consent of the council.

The two district officials are accused of switching the engine of two double cabin pick-up engines with those of saloon cars (Toyota Premios).

The two vehicles whose engines were swapped are Toyota Helix Reg. No. LG 0001/77 that was allocated to the district speaker and a Ford Ranger pick-up Reg. No. UG 124R that belongs to the Water Department.

The two were arrested after investigations by the district Public Accounts Committee (PAC) which discovered that the engines of two vehicles had been swapped.

Mr John Bosco Kisekka, the chairperson the district PAC said they were forced to forward the matter to police because they had failed to get convincing explanations from the suspects about the missing engines.

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

Mr John Katakanya, a member of PAC said they consulted mechanics at Elizabeth and Bukenya garages that were contracted by the district, who told them that they have never conducted any engine changes and repairs as the district engineer claims.

Preliminary police investigations indicate that the chief finance officer connived with a one Kiwanuka to swap the engines since he sanctioned payments for the work.

The district engineer has always dismissed accusations by PAC members, saying they are baseless and aimed at tarnishing his name.

He recently told journalists that he doubted if PAC members have the capacity to tell the difference between a saloon car engine and that of a pick-up double cabin.

Mr Vincent Ssekate, the spokesperson of Criminal Investigations Directorate of police confirmed the duo's arrest, saying investigations into the matter have started.

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

The suspects are being held at the headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Directorate Kibuli , Kampala where they had reported to record statements on Wednesday.

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