Police in Napak District are holding James Bala, a NUSAF3 officer
for allegedly diverting more than 8 million shillings.
Bala, the Community Facilitator for Kongonyang Water shade in Ngoleriet Sub
County is accused of withdrawing 8.5 million shillings due for Payment to
Emorikikinos Kapei and Lokonyakumes Block Farms.
Michael Ongica, the District Police Commander, Napak says that Bala on March
25th is alleged to have gone to Centenary Bank in Moroto with signatories to
the account and withdrew the money.
It is reported that after getting the cash, Bala and the
signatories to bank account paid themselves transport worth 200,000 shillings and
later handed over the balance to the group chairperson, Helen Angella instead
of the treasurer, Agnes Chila as required in the NUSAF3 guidelines.
Police investigations also reveal that Bala, on another date convinced the
chairperson to hand him the cash pretending that he was going to pay the group
members at the sub-county. His luck ran out when members of the group mounted
pressure on the top leadership, demanding for payment.
John Bosco Opio, the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Napak says
the money swindled was supposed to be refunded to the community.
Under the NUSAF3 design, while workers are paid a daily wage, part
of the money is withheld and saved into specific account. The savings will then
be accessed after the project works.
Opio says the officer exploited the ignorance of the community leaders to access
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NUSAF 3 implementation has had challenges in Napak district. In January, the
district reshuffled all NUSAF3 desk officers including Gilbert Longole, the
engineer in charge project works who was interdicted over shoddy works.
Most of the issues surrounding NUSAF3 implementation rotate around
accountability, shoddy works and delay in payment of community members after
NUSAF 3 has been involving leaders in community activities as one way of
fighting poverty and improving welfare in families. The project employs locals
to open community access roads, dig water ponds and set nursery beds among
others for financing projects.