Two Arua district officials arrested for swindling Ugx 20 million

There has been a series of monies being swindled in Arua district.

Arua: Arua senior environment officer and the desk officer for DRDIP project, Joachim Andiandu, have been arrested together with Owen Onzima, the community facilitator, for swindling money from a saving group meant for Development Response to Displacement Impact Project (DRDIP) forest restoration in Ajia Sub County Arua district.

The money swindled, worth 20 million shillings, was for the Abamba village savings group in Ajia parish in Ajia Sub County, where he told the signatories that out of the 40 million shillings they had withdrawn, 20 million shillings was meant for the district leadership.

However, Joachim Andiandu, after being arrested, recovered the 20 million shillings he had taken, which acts as an exhibit as of now.

Arua resident district commissioner Okiswa Geoffrey has condemned the act and says these individuals are the ones tarnishing the image of the government. He wonders which district leadership was to share the 20 million shillings.

He warned that for somebody to play around with poverty, which is biting ordinary people, yet the NRM government is helping them get out of the situation, it can’t be tolerated completely.

Okiswa noted that after their arrest, police managed to recover the 20,000 from Andiandu, which they are going to use as an exhibit against the suspects in court.

Boniface Alion, the NRM chairperson in Arua district, says Andiandu should be presented in court since the exhibits are there and also to investigate the other district officials involved in the swindling of the money.

He says corruption has been mainly perpetrated by the desk officer and some of his officers by picking money from beneficiaries, and he urges all the communities that benefited from DRDIP to report such cases.

Alfred Okuonzi, the LC5 chairman of Arua district, says what the environment officer has done is unfortunate and tarnishes the image of the district.

By press time, Josephine Angucia, the West Nile Regional Police Spokesperson, confirmed that the police had arrested Andiandu and was at the Arua main police station in Odumi under CRB 011/2024.

There has been a series of monies being swindled in Arua district.

In 2018, there was a bitter verbal exchange between Arua district councilors and technical personnel when police stormed the NUSAF offices to search for clues into the disappearance of more than 500 million shillings.

The offices were locked for two months by the NUSAF Desk Officer, Paul Edobo, after allegedly drawing more than Shillings 500 million shillings meant for paying over 50 suppliers.

The suppliers put pressure on the Chief Administrative Officer, Ismail Ochengel, which prompted him to direct police to break into the office and search for the money and relevant documents.

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