Security in Lira has detained Richard Okello, the city’s commercial officer, and Lillian Grace Ocare, the city’s acting town clerk, for allegedly mismanaging and stealing Parish Development Model (PDM) monies.
Jovrine Kyomukama Kaliisa, the PDM’s deputy national coordinator, gave the order for the arrests on Thursday.
It came after a protracted conversation she had with the Ober ward SACCO and local officials at the office of the resident city commissioner.
Tonny Ocen, the chairwoman, Susan Achola, the treasurer, and Joan Akello, the secretary of the Ober ward SACCO, were also detained.
The trio is accused of working with the municipal council officials to add the names of the nine fictitious recipients.
James Opira, the internal security officer for Gombola, claimed that the SACCO executives secretly added nine names to the list of recipients during the contentious meeting.
The accused all admitted that they had added names of people they did not know at the purported direction of commercial officer Richard Okello in their responses.
Ocen, the chair of SACCO, claimed that the chairs of the relevant business enterprise organizations had recommended the names to them.
The SACCO leaders said that after adding the phantom names covertly, the leaders sent the list to the municipal council, where acting town clerk Ocare, who serves as the PDM focal point person, approved and the payments were issued to the individuals.
Even though the commercial officer denied giving the SACCO leaders the orders to add names, this led Kaliisa to order their arrest.
The five were detained at the office of Lira RCC Lawrence Egole until about 9 o’clock, at which point he gave Joseph Bakaleke, commander of Lira City East Central Police, the go-ahead to release them on police bond.
The deputy town clerk and the other four have been charged with misappropriation and theft of public monies, which is a more favorable accusation.
Against them, a general inquiry file (GEF No. 007/2023) has been established.
While the deputy town clerk left on a state bail, Henry Napatal Alami stood surety for commercial officer Okello at the Lira City East Central Police Station.
On Friday morning, the representatives and SACCO executives reported to the police, where they were then transported back to the RCC.
The same day, Lira City East DPC Joseph Bakaleke, Town Clerk Theopilus Tibihikaand, and the PDM secretariat met to discuss how to go about recovering the funds from the allegedly fraudulent recipients.
According to Kaliisa, the proper channels were not used to distribute the funds to the recipients.
She claimed that instead of bringing any legal action, her major goal is to retrieve the government funds and return them to the community.