At least 20 public servants at Nansana Municipality in Wakiso District were on Friday arrested on charges of fraud connected to alleged misappropriation more than Shs2 billion, pending investigations into alleged mismanagement of income generated from property rates.
Also under investigation is the management of donor funds to the tune of Shs250 million, which was allegedly banked on personal accounts of the suspects, and diversion of unspecified amounts of money in remittances from the Road Fund.
Those held to assist with investigations include the human resource officer, Ms Gertrude Nansukusa, who has been acting at the town clerk following an earlier decision to send the substantive town clerk, Mr Ambrose Atwoki, on forced leave, the head of finance, Ms Agnes Nakabugo, the municipal planner, Mr Simon Kiguli, the clerk to council, Ms Adia Nayiga, and the health inspector, Mr Robert Kagwire.
The Head of State House Anticorruption Unit, Lt Col Edith Nakalema, who led the arrest later handed over the suspects to detectives led by Kampala Metropolitan Police commander, Mr Moses Kafeero.
"All staff of Nansana Municipality are suspects. The town clerk in absentia and the head of human resource, who is acting town clerk, have a lot of questions to answer. They should not go back to office," Lt Col Nakalema, who is also the senior presidential advisor on anti-corruption, said.
Lt Col Nakalema issued the order while addressing a stakeholders' meeting that was convened at the offices of Nansana Municipality by officials of the Ministry of Local Government led by the permanent secretary, Mr Benjamin Kumumanya.
She also ordered the police to once again arrest two officials of the municipality, Ms Florence Nayiga and Mr Joseph Sekalongo, who had earlier been arrested on the orders of the Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Ms Rose Kirabira, for allegedly hacking into the municipality's financial system and carrying out illegal transactions.
The order to arrest the duo was issued following complaints by sections of the public that the two were released under unclear circumstances and on the instigation of some of the area politicians. Ms Nakalema also directed Mr Ambrose Atwoki to report to police.
He is being investigated for an array of alleged offences including failure to guide council as he was always away on unauthorised leave, implementing unapproved plans, failure to remit mandatory fees by town clerk on property revenues, abuse of office, and irregular employment.
In a related development, Mr Kumumanya has announced that his ministry has taken over the management of the municipality following a recent petition that councillors and concerned citizens filed with the ministry, accusing the administration of abuse of office, fraud and acting with impunity.
"The takeover is temporary. All the staff will be subjected to scrutiny because of the (many) mistakes and those culpable (of having carried out fraudulent transactions) shall be asked to try their luck elsewhere," Mr Kumumanya said.