Maracha – An investigation report pins top leaders of Maracha Town council in fraudulently raiding about UGX300,000 from water kiosk manned by Northern Umbrella Organization for Water and Sanitation.
Released in a council sitting on Wednesday 27th May 2020, the report names Maracha Town Council Chairperson, Hon. Alex Agadribo, Works, Production and Natural resources chairperson, Hon. Anguyo Mansur Baraa and a pump mechanic, Mr. Rhonny Atibuni, as persons who erroneously collected money from a kiosk operator, Mr. Abiriga Henry on behalf of North Umbrella.
Under the title “Finance, Health, Education and Community Services select committee report of an inquiry into the alleged involvement of some council members in the collection of three hundred thousand shillings unaccounted for” the one-page document covers the council’s 21st November 2019 committee meeting.
The council secretary for Finance, Hon. David Solo, vice Chairperson of the select committee of the investigation, earned himself off cabinet list after reading the report.
” on interrogating the caretaker of the main market water kiosk, the committee was informed that he gave out three hundred thousand shillings to Hon. Anguyo Mansur Baraa. He also informed the members that before releasing the money, he consulted the chairman LC 3 who sent Hon. Anguyo Mansur Baraa to collect the money and that it was from the chairman’s directive that he handed over the money” thrilling findings of the alleged of corrupt practices, read in part.
The select committee chaired by Hon. Lydia Mbabzi Acidri also reports that on contacting the pump mechanic who was mentioned, the man pointed finger to the chairperson of the council having sent them on the alleged mission.
“When asked by members of the select committee, the pump mechanic accepted to have got involved in the saga after he was called on phone by LC 3 chairperson, Maracha Town Council. The pump mechanic confirmed to the select committee that truly, the Ugx.300, 000 was handed over to Hon. Anguyo Mansur Baraa, the chairperson of works, Production and Natural resources, who took it to the LC 3 chairman as he was at his brother, Mr. Asea’s secretarial Bureau along Otafire road” the report pins the two top politicians.
The pump mechanic further informed members of the select committee that he was given Ugx. 7000 as his transport to facilitate him to go for his programs in Ovujo trading centre.
On reading the report, Hon. David Solo attempted to lay ground to impeach the LC 3 chairperson, who has been mentioned in the alleged corruption practice.
He directed attention of the council to section 234 of the local government Act, chapter 14, Clause 1, which talks about removal of chairperson from office.
“Subject to subsection 2, the chairperson may be removed from office by the council by a resolution supported by two third of all the members of the council, if the council on any ground of the following grounds; Abuse of office, corruption, incompetence, mismanagement or misbehavior, physical or mental incapacitation that would render the chairperson incapable of performing the duties of the chairperson, failure or refusal to implement justifiable lawful acts or decision of the council” the speaker offered to read the threatening clause but no council heeded to invoke it against the chairperson.
Hon. Mawa Godfrey, former leader of government business in Maracha Town Council, who later replaced David Wolo as secretary for Finance in the reshuffle that followed release to the alleged corruption, asked for forgiveness among members of the council, citing rampant cases of fraudulent deals in the town council.
“There was also another issue of Ugx. 300,000 misappropriated by the former Health Assistant and the matter was never resolved. A log was transported using council vehicle, up to now the matter has not been handled and again this. Then, tomorrow it might you or me. Let’s forgive and not handle it like some people are angels” Hon. Mawa attempted to down play the alleged fraud report.
Hon. Anguyo, one of the key suspects in the report accepted to have received the money buy denied having given it to the chairperson.
The councillor said his actions followed a council proposal to force Northern Umbrella to talks with the town council over poor services. He claimed to have had the money in is pocket at the time of the meeting.
“I’m the production chairperson. In one of our meetings we stated that we don’t want Northern Umbrella in the Town council. They have done several anomalies to our people, then, I had to take the initiative to collect that money to make these people to come for talks” Mr. Anguyo said.
“These people, when you call them, they don’t comply, when our people are suffering. I collected the money intentionally, if they are on ground, they should come for it to the council. When the manager asked me, I told him it was the council that authorised me, so that he comes for negotiation but he fail. It shouldn’t be the council to ask that money from me. Right now I have the money in my pocket but I will not give any body” the councilor insisted.
In a contradictory submission to the council, the chairperson, Mr. Alex Agadribo denied to have sent two people mentioned in the report. He agreed to have received Ugx. 300,000 from the pump mechanic and handed to the water officer in the town council.
“What happened is, this man who was formerly working with Northern Umbrella collected the money with Hon. Anguyo and brought to my office. I called one of the water officers and gave him the money” the chairperson defended his involvement in the money saga. He termed it absurd for people to claim he intended to use it for personal use.
“You people if you want to know something, you come down. Not you go with issues outside and what have you, before they go. A’m very embarrassed. I want to tell you that if this is the problem, please, let’s sit before” the speaker said in his own words.
“For me, today, you have said I’m corrupt but I have never tasted any money. If we go around, the money collected by some of you, if the issue is raised like this, this money!” the chairperson exclaimed, threatening to expose others he deemed corrupt.
However, the town council’s Assistant water officer, Mr. Anguzu Samson distances himself from receiving any money from the chairperson.
The pump mechanic also told Red Pepper digital that he never laid a finger on the money but he pinned the councillor and the chairperson being responsible.
The Manager for Northern Umbrella Organization for water and Sanitation, Mr. Martin Wamalwa confirmed to Red Pepper digital the fraudulent lose of money in Maracha Town council.
Mr. Wamalwa said he has never recovered the Ugx. 300, 000 that was allegedly collected by some political leaders of Maracha Town Council