“Those very officials escorted us to the bank and after withdrawing the money, they immediately wanted us to give them a kick back which we earlier declined," says a member of the beneficiary groups who reported the officials to the police. "After a week, I agreed to pay them 150,000 Shillings, but they kept on harassing me as they demanded for more money.”
Police in Luuka district on Friday arrested Jowali Byakika, the sub county chief of Nawampiti sub county in Luuka district, over soliciting bribes from 20 village saving associations-VISLAs, which had each received two Million Shillings from the parish community association-PCA program.
The police also arrested the community development officer, JuliusMagumba, Zainabu Nakiyemba, the parish chief of Nakiswiga parish and PenninahKasubo, the parish chief of Nawankompe parish, whom they accuse of connivingwith Byakika to solicit bribes from the beneficiaries, as a way of appeasingthem after they successfully secured funds that aimed at helping them inrecapitalize their small scale enterprises.
It is reported that, each parish was meant to access 30Million Shillings and in turn each groups would receive threeMillion Shillings., however, the sub county officials declined to approve thewithdraw of all the funds and instead tasked them to partially withdraw 20,000,0000arguing that, only those VISLAs who agreed to pay a service charge of 200,000Shillings, would be cleared to access the remaining one Million Shillings.
Grace Ngobi, a member of one of the beneficiary groups saysthat he approached police authorities after receiving constant threats fromsub county officials.
“Those very officials escorted us to the bank and afterwithdrawing the money, they immediately wanted us to give them a kick back which we earlier declined. However, after a week, I agreed to pay them 150,000 Shillings but, they kept on harassing me as they demanded for more money,” he says.
Hamis Bikado, the Luuka district community developmentofficer who coordinates the PCA program says that he has received complaintsof bribery from several beneficiaries and is currently liaising with allrelevant authorities to ensure that such matters are thoroughly investigatedand the culprits prosecuted.
The Luuka district police commander, Kennedy Ocaya saysthat investigations are underway and the suspects will be prosecuted before theanti-corruption court.