ZOMBO. At least two Zombo district local government officials are being detained at Paidha police station for allegedly causing the district a financial loss and diversion of up to shs114, 300,000 million meant for the production department and statutory bodies.
The detained public servants include; Mr Frankson Lomoro Mukili, the Chief Finance Officer (CFO) and Mr Patrick Dokcen, the district accountant.
The Zombo district integrity promotion forum meeting chaired by the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Zombo at the district headquarters on Friday sought to among others; delve into the alleged theft of money from the district account at Centenary bank Paidha branch and the unpaid ex-gratia for village chairpersons.
The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Zombo Mr Musa Ismail Onzu told the participants comprising Sub-county chairpersons and chiefs, councilors and heads of departments that the money disappeared from the district account without his signature although he and the CFO are the key signatories.
He denied signing the 31 cheques which are said to have been used to withdraw the reportedly stolen money.
“I know no one can withdraw money from the district account here without my signature and that of the CFO but for this case, I didn’t sign any check and if you are to wake me at midnight I will say I didn’t sign”, he stated.
Onzu noted that he got to sense there was something wrong with the district account after cheques issued by the district started bouncing from the bank. The CAO said since the matter is under investigation and criminal in nature, the police shall advise on what course of action to take.
The RDC Zombo, Mr Andrew Kajoyingi appealed to the elected leaders to quarterly demand for accountability from their technical staff to avoid being caught unaware. He said a forensic investigation into the allegedly forged CAO’s signatures will be carried out to get to the root of the matter.
“You are empowered under the law to demand for accountability from your technical staff as an elected leader and this must be done quarterly so that you are able to notice the deviation from the budget and work plan”, he argued.
Mr John Birombo Orwiny, the Zombo district chairman said the racket involved in the theft of money from the district account shall be held accountable and above all, those found guilty will be compelled to refund the stolen money or go to jail.
“I’m not interested in fighting someone but I want the money meant for the people of Zombo to be taken back onto the district account”, he said.
Orwiny also said Centenary bank Paidha branch will have to explain how the suspects successfully manipulated the bank’s control to withdraw the money using 31 cheques with forged signatures as highlighted by the CAO.
“This is a racket and the bank also has some questions to answer in regard to the stolen money from the district account”, he said.
The chairman Athuma sub-county, Mr Jenaro Onegiu similarly said those found guilty shall have to refund the stolen money without fear or favor.
When contacted for a comment, the branch manager centenary bank Paidha Mr Mpiirwe T Vaanacio declined to speak saying he is not authorized to speak to the media.