ALEBTONG- Four officials implementing the third Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF3) in Alebtong District have allegedly received “kickbacks” amounting to Shs16m from the project beneficiaries.
The Inspectorate of Government confirmed receiving a complaint against four community facilitators in what it was alleged that they had received financial contributions from NUSAF3 sub-project beneficiaries.
Those implicated are Mr Denish Okello, Mr Geoffrey Ogwok, Ms Agnes Adongo and Ms Jane Akite, who had been posted to the sub-counties of Abia, Aloi, Amugu and Omoro.
After investigations, the inspectorate established that Alebtong District recruited four community facilitators to provide technical support during the implementation of the sub-projects.
It was also discovered that the officials collected financial contributions from members of the subproject groups. In a statement, the inspectorate said it established that Mr Okello received Shs5,304,200, Mr Ogwok benefited Shs3,386,000, Ms Adongo and Ms Akite pocketed Shs3,767,000 and Shs3,417,000 respectively. NUSAF3 implementation guidelines prohibit collection of any financial contributions from the beneficiary communities.
The investigating arm of the government said all the four community facilitators neither acknowledged receipt of the money they collected from the communities in writing nor provided satisfactory accountabilities for the amount of money that they admitted to have collected from the communities.
The IGG has directed that those implicated should refund the said funds through the Inspectorate of Government Asset Recovery Account No. 003030088000007 in Bank of Uganda within 30 days from the date of issuance of this report.
“Legal action shall be taken without any further notice if the money is not refunded within the stipulated period,” the statement warned.
The directives further grant the Alebtong District accounting officer or the Chief Administration Officer a mandate to terminate contracts of all the four community facilitators with immediate effect and thereafter, new ones should be recruited.
The IG further urged the NUSAF3 executive director to ensure that the budgets for items required during sub-project generation phase are instead included in the district operational budget. The Alebtong District chairman, Mr Denis Okello, when contacted acknowledged that there were anomalies in the implementation of the programme.
“They (NUSAF3 implementers) recruited people who worked in NUSAF 2, and were used to the culture of extorting money from the community. There was alleged connivance in the entire process right from recruitment,” he told this newspaper on Tuesday.