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Police Probes Missing Ugx 39M Ex Gratia Money For Lira Councilors

The money was sent to Lira Municipality account during 2017/2018 and 2018 and 2019 financial years respectively. It was meant to cater for the payment of Ex Gratia for about 70 local councilors from all the four Divisions of Adyel, Ojwina, Railways and Central.
C-Lira Municipal Mayor Mike Ogwang Olwa being intercepted by the Lira DPC George Obia on Monday for interrogtaion over the matter (2)

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Police in Lira District are investigating circumstances under which more than Shs39 million meant for the local councilors Ex Gratia payment went missing.

The money was reportedly sent to Lira Municipality account during the 2017/2018 and 2018/ 2019 financial years respectively. It was meant to cater for payment of Ex Gratia for about 70 local councilors from all the four divisions of Adyel, Ojwina, Railways and Central. 

The investigation follows last week’s protest by the councilors at Lira Municipality demanding for their payment.

On Monday, Lira Municipal Mayor Mike Ogwang Olwa was made to record a statement after hours of interrogation by the economic crime detectives at Lira CPS. SP George Obia, the Lira District Police Commander says the investigation is to establish what could have happened to the funds.

DPC Obia says they are yet to get statements from various key officials at Lira Municipal including the Town Clerk, Samuel Ahabwe among others.

Milton Odongo, the Lira Resident District Commissioner says he ordered for the investigation after realizing that no Municipal official was willing ready to disclose details about the money.

Geoffrey Omara Okello, the chairperson of the affected councilors welcomed the on-going investigations. Omara insists they should be paid their Ex Gratia using money from other sources by the municipal authority.

Town Clerk Ahabwe last week said the money was sent to the municipal when he was not yet the accounting officer and therefore the mater must be investigated by the police. 

He confirmed that he is not aware of what could have happened to the money that was sent to the Municipal account by the Finance Ministry. 

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About 75 Division Councilors last Thursday staged a demonstration protesting nonpayment of their Ex Gratia for over five quarters.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni directed the Finance, Planning and Economic Development Ministry to pay the parish councilors Ex Gratia following complaints of the meager sitting allowances and lack of funds to execute their monitoring roles.    

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