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More Hoes Missing in Soroti City- Police

On Thursday, the Police records indicated that the 79 boxes had allegedly been stolen from the stores.
Verification of hoes in Soroti City.

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Investigations into the alleged theft of hand hoes in Soroti City have discovered that 100 boxes of hoes are missing in the stores. 

On Thursday, the Police records indicated that the 79 boxes had allegedly been stolen from the stores. This led to the arrest of 14 officials from Soroti City. Those in custody include the Chief Finance Officer, Abraham Oriokot, the Police Officer on duty at the City offices whose names have not yet been identified, the Records Officer, Michael Olum and the Production Officer Dr Isaiah Odokorach. 

Others are the City Planner, Andrew Iteba, Office Supervisor, Stephen Okwango, Inventory Officer, Emmanuel Engole, Office Attendant in Finance department, Martin Edopa and two officers from the Audit Department, Samuel Aremu and Joyce Takan, among others. 

The report by the Head of Production at Soroti City dated June 22 indicates that Tianjin Machinery Co. (U) Ltd delivered 1,157cartons of hoes to Soroti City on June 10, 2021. Some of the hoes, which were kept in the stores, were reportedly stolen prompting the police to conduct a verification exercise on Friday.

The verification revealed that out of 234 kept in finance department stores, only 133 hoes were found while the 923 boxes kept in the production department were intact. 

Oscar Gregg Ageca, the East Kyoga Regional Police Spokesman says they are still conducting investigations into the matter. 

Information obtained from reliable sources indicates that some hoes were recovered from residents and businessmen in Soroti East Division. Some village chairpersons in the same division were found with acknowledgement forms for receipt of hand hoes. The forms were already signed by the would-be beneficiaries. 

Ageca said that they will release the information regarding their next course of action into the matter later. 

The Soroti City Acting Clerk, Moses Otimong, who was also being interrogated by the Police, says all the staff in the Finance Department were arrested since they had access to the stores.

// cue in “There was no burglary…

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Isaac Asaku, the secretary of production at Soroti City Council says he doesn’t know the number of the hoes delivered and the beneficiaries.

“As the secretary production, I was only notified about the hoes coming to the city without any details. Most of the council members got to know about the existence of the hoes here when the said hoes went missing”, he said.

Asaku wants officers implicated in the disappearance of hoes punished.

The Government started a countrywide distribution of 2.5 million hand hoes across the country to vulnerable small-holder farmers. The move is aimed at empowering vulnerable rural farmers to engage in meaningful agriculture.

The distribution of hand hoes is in fulfilment of President Yoweri Museveni's campaign pledge of 2016 general elections.