ARUA. The Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) of local government yesterday ordered for the arrest of acting Arua municipal council engineer, Mr Anthony Dradria and his assistant, Mr Herbert Olia for alleged failure to refund shs27.6 million for construction of staff lane.
The money is part of Shs 99.4 million project to fund four roads in the municipality during the 2017/2018 financial year which was expected to have been completed in 150 days from Jan 2018.
The mismanaged road funds are contained in the auditor general’s report of 2017/18 financial year which a subcommittee chaired by Jonam county Member of Parliament Mr Emmanuel Ongietho was scrutinizing.
“I must say that Arua municipality in terms of utilization of the road fund has been a mess. And we have not gone too far because other sections of the government like the Inspector General of Government (IGG) and state house anti-corruption Unit are also investigating the use of road fund in this municipality”, Ongiertho stressed.
While there was some semblance of work done on roads such as Mango and Afra road, the committee was particularly concerned that nothing had been done on staff lane in Arua Hill division despite the engineer receiving shs27.6 million on his personal account to the work.
“We want the police to go deeper into that because IGG and Statehouse anti-corruption unit seemed to have missed this particular road of Staff lane”, Ongiertho said.
He added that reports from the three investigating parties about roads in the municipality will be comprehensively combined to be presented before the parliament in September this year.
While answering queries from PAC, Mr Dradria said it was the contractor who failed to pay money to the service provider while working on mango road that eventually prompted the service provider to withdraw his equipment which was supposed to be shifted to staff lane.
“These things were really planned as we were so much interested to see the work is done as the engineering department”, Dradria said.
“It is difficult for us to report this to Parliament because the whole thing has been messed up and we are handing the two over to the CID department for more investigation”, Ongiertho said.
The two were taken to Arua central police station but were later released on bond upon the consent of the PAC committee and Arua Municipal council.