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
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…
Cue out…service delivery”//
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
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
The distribution of hand hoes is in fulfilment of President Yoweri Museveni's
campaign pledge of 2016 general elections.