By Ambrose Mugisha
NTUNGAMO – A commendable effort was made in Ntungamo district to recover stolen funds amounting to UGX8 million from the Rukarango-Kibatsi PDM Sacco. The funds, which were intended for Parish Development Model (PDM) projects, had been misappropriated by District commercial officer Niwagaba Seth and Kibatsi community Development officer Arinaitwe Isaac.
Ntungamo district had established 129 PDM Saccos to benefit from a substantial allocation of sh745 million for the program in the previous financial year. The aim was to promote development at the grassroots level. However, the incident of embezzlement has tarnished the reputation of public servants and raised concerns about transparency and accountability.
Joveline Kyomukama Kariisa, the Deputy National Coordinator of the Parish Development Model, made it clear that the government would take strong action against corrupt civil servants who engage in such malpractices. Addressing the issue during the restitution of the stolen funds to the rightful beneficiaries in Kibatsi, she emphasized the need to restore trust and hope among Ugandans. Kariisa likened the misdeeds of corrupt officials to a “Gold ring in a pig’s snout,” stating that such behavior must come to an end.
Samuel Mucunguzi Rwakigoba Salongo, the Ntungamo district LCV, expressed shock at the discovery of ghost beneficiaries within the PDM system. He vowed to take severe actions against those involved in corruption, warning the technical team that they would face consequences for their misconduct.
Deputy RDC Ntungamo, Niwamanya Robert Kamuntu, praised the members of Rukarango-Kibatsi PDM Sacco for promptly reporting the theft of funds. He acknowledged that their vigilance played a crucial role in ensuring that the culprits did not escape unpunished. Kamuntu stated that the offenders would be dealt with harshly to serve as a deterrent to others.
As investigations continue, District commercial officer Niwagaba Seth and Kibatsi community Development officer Arinaitwe Isaac remain in custody under the watchful eye of DPC Ntungamo Bushaija Hannington Kanimi.
The recovery of the stolen funds and the subsequent actions taken by the authorities send a strong message against corruption and emphasize the government’s commitment to safeguard public funds. It is hoped that such actions will restore faith in civil servants and ensure that the allocated funds genuinely benefit the communities they are intended for.
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