By Andrew Irumba
Apac: Two officials in Apac district are in trouble for allegedly pocketing money that was meant to pay a gang of road constructors.
Nelson Okello, the District Engineer and Charles Oruro, the Roads Inspector, are accused of allegedly refusing to pay 200 yet information available indicates that they received the money from government.
According to the workers, each of them was promised Shs10,000 per every 200 meters of the roads maintained. The residents have since petitioned Apac Anti-Corruption Coalition-TAAC, a local NGO operating in Apac district to help investigate and establish why they haven’t been paid.
However, Okello, the district Engineer, said the group must be verified before they can be paid.
He said his office wasn’t previously informed about the group’s pending payment. Paul Alyao, the Apac Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, said they will the pay the group once they are verified.
Residents claim that there were contracted by the district roads department to maintain the 13km road stretching from Corner Amii in Ibuje Sub county to Apalamio landing on Lake Kwania in Apoi Sub County in 2017 but the officials later refused to pay them.
Paul Acak, the Programs manager TAAC, suspects that the money could have been mismanaged. He said they held several engagements with the district officials and affected residents including holding a Public Accountability Forum to resolve the matter in vain.
Moses Ogwang, one of the affected residents, said “Our efforts to plead with the district authorities to clear our pay haven’t yielded results.”
He added that “Initially both the District engineer and Roads inspector had denied contracting the residents for the road maintenance work, but they later acknowledged them after a series of engagement through TACC.”
Alyao said government has already released money to pay the all road maintenance groups for the first the quarter of this financial year. He said they are also considering taking administrative actions to establish how the Sha2.9m released to pay the road workers was spent.