Several officials from Arua City have been apprehended on suspicions of mismanaging government programs and funds. These arrests were instigated by Beatrice Akello, the state minister for economic monitoring in the office of the President, following a two-day meeting she held with both political and technical representatives from Arua City. Akello is presently in the West Nile region to evaluate the performance of various government initiatives.
Among the individuals detained on Tuesday, November 7, were Cornelius Jobile, the deputy city clerk of Arua City, and Sam Adriko, the chief finance officer. The former city engineer, Anthony Dradria, and the former town clerk, Daniel Kaweesi, were ordered to be arrested in absentia by the minister. Moses Findru, the Arua City senior physical planner, had been apprehended the day prior on allegations of irregularly allocating land to a private developer for a mast installation.
Additional arrests included Edoni Benard, the board chairperson of Pangisa PDM SACCO, and Lillian Aleni, the principal town agent for Pangisa ward. They were accused of extortion and not adhering to established guidelines. Akello stated that the fate of these officials now rests with the State House Anti-Corruption Unit, tasked with investigating the raised issues.
The detained officials were held at Arua Central Police Station. Minister Akello also pledged to resolve conflicts within Arua Main Market and Arua City taxi park, as there were reports of civil servants and politicians improperly allocating stalls and sub-renting them to others.
Emphasizing the need for anti-corruption agencies to concentrate their efforts on Arua City, Akello highlighted the significant government investments in projects that were potentially being mismanaged by technocrats. Arua Central MP Jackson Lee Atima, part of the monitoring team, commended the minister for her proactive steps to address syndicated corruption in the city.
Atima also cautioned corrupt civil servants and politicians, warning them that their actions would catch up to them. Akello’s visit includes assessing additional projects in Arua District before proceeding to other districts in the region as part of her monitoring initiative.