Wakiso District authorities are investigating one of their own for alleged embezzlement of more than Shillings 200 million from two separate town councils. The suspect is Cox Ssempebwa, the town clerk of Kasanje Town Council.
He is suspected to have embezzled the funds from Wakiso Town Council. It is alleged that before his transfer to Kasanje Town Council, Ssempebwa mismanaged over Shillings 180 million that was meant to open and construct the1.3 kilometer 'Buganda road swamp' under the road fund.
The Wakiso Town Council LC 3 chairperson, Fredson Mukalazi, says they received information that funds had been released to BS General Services Limited for the construction of 'Buganda road swamp' in disregard of procurement procedures.
Mukalazi says he followed up with the contractor only to be told that he withdrew the money and handed it back to the town council officials.
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Mukalazi says after discovering the anomalies he ordered for an internal audit whose findings have been forwarded to the district leadership for further analysis before a decision is taken. He suspects connivance between the accused and some district they are yet to establish.
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Leaders in Kasanje Town Council where Ssempebwa has spent less than three months are also crying foul claiming that he has mismanaged the council startup funds. Startup fund is the amount of money given to newly create administrative units from the central government.
Joseph Ssemujju, LC III chairperson Kasanje Town Council, says before Ssempebwa was posted to their town council they had already made a work plan and approved budgets for key priority area where they wanted to spend the start fund.
These included among others leasing land from Buganda land board for the construction of the town council headquarters and building extended structures for staff offices. He says that when Shillings 50 million was released; the town clerk diverted it to the purchase of furniture and sensitisation of local council leaders without council approval.
Ssemujju notes that when they asked the town clerk for accountability he told them verbally that he had used Shillings 20 million on furniture, which they have never seen, and used Shillings 8 million for the sensitisation meeting.
On Tuesday this week, Kasanje Town Council leaders convened an emergency meeting which was attended by all civil servants and political leaders from village level. They resolved to lock the town clerk out of his office and petition the Chief Administrative Officer to investigate him.
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Ssempebwa declined to comment when approached by our report, saying "I have nothing to say, and am not allowed by law. If you need any information to that effect go to the CAO.” Luke Lokuda, the Wakiso District Chief Administrative Officer, says that a lot of complaints about Ssempebwa have been coming to his desk.
Lokuda, who described Ssempebwa as unserious servant, who doesn't follow any standard procedure, noted that onetime time he interdicted the accused officer for mismanaging land matters but he was advised by the Justice Bamugemereire led Land Commission to reinstate him.
He explained that the district has already put up a team to investigate the allegations to look into the petitions and audits before a final decision is taken.
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Ssempebwa once contested against the former Vice President Gilbert Bukenya for the Busiro North parliamentary seat and lost. He was later elected as councilor representing Masuulita Sub County and resigned in November 2011 to join civil service.
He has served at several Local Government units across the district including Kira Municipality, Namayumba Town Council and Wakiso Town Council..