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Lamwo District Officials Under Probe for Inflating Cost of Inputs

The officials under probe are the district commercial officer, the district veterinary officer, and community facilitators.

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A section of district officials in Lamwo District is under probe over allegations of inflating costs of procuring implements and inputs under the Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project.

The officials are the district commercial officer, the district veterinary officer, and community facilitators.

The project is being implemented under the four major components including, social-economic services, infrastructure development, sustainable environmental management, and the livelihoods program.   Under the livelihood component, farmers are supported to engage in crop and poultry production, animal husbandry, value chain additions of their products, and village loan savings scheme.

The investigations follow the arrest of District Commercial Officer Dactus Ogiki.

The Lamwo LCV Chairperson Sisto Ocen Oyet says the arrest of the commercial officer follows complaints raised from the project beneficiary group who allege that the prices quoted for the supplies of the inputs were much higher than what is in the open market.

According to Oyet, members of the piggery group asserted that each piglet was procured at 500,000 Shillings while poultry project beneficiaries claimed each day-old-chick cost shillings 20,000.

//Cue in: “wan ikare ma…

. Cue out: ….mede ki investigation”//

Vicky Aromorach, a beneficiary of Langwidi Yika Poultry Project in Lamwo Town Council says they were under instructions by their community facilitators to reject prequalified suppliers with lower price offers and instead were forced to award procurement contracts to companies that had inflated figures.

According to Aromorach, the line officials connived with the community facilitators by creating an online price information system with hiked figures from where they would subject beneficiaries to base their price quotations.

The Lamwo Resident District Commissioner James Nabinson Kidega says the arrest is part of an ongoing investigation that was launched last year by the Deputy Inspector General of Government following concerns of corruption that had marred the implementation of the project.

Kidega says also wanted are key district officials attached to the office of the Chief Administrative Officer who reportedly went ahead to authorize payments of the inputs at exorbitant prices.

//Cue in: “Lok me jwayo…. 

Cue out: ….nyoo iceto ibuc”//

According to Kidega some of the implicated officials could face interdiction, dismissal, and prosecution for abuse of office, facilitating fraudulent accounting and conspiring to commit fraud against the government, and causing financial loss of public funds.  

The Lamwo Chief Administrative Officer Alex Majeme acknowledged the gaps in the implementation of the project although he says they occurred while he had not yet assumed office. Majeme says the investigation was being conducted by the IGG and the district would heed to any recommendations arising from the inquiry but also pledged towards the need to address the gaps for the success of the project.