Senior Education Ministry Official Arrested Over Missing Shs665m Stadium Money

Senior Education Ministry Official Arrested Over Missing Shs665m Stadium Money

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By Samuel Opio

The Commissioner for Physical Education in the Ministry of Education and Sports, Mr. Omara Apiita has been detained for failing to account for close to Shs665m meant for construction of the Akii-Bua Memorial Stadium.

Mr. Omara, together with a number of other officials from the education ministry were appearing before the parliamentary committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) over delays on the construction of government arenas including the Akii-Bua Stadium in Lira district.

President Yoweri Museveni pledged to construct Akii-Bua Stadium in memory of John Akii-Bua, the first Olympic gold medalist.

Government released Shs665m for the construction of the Stadium, but works has since 2017 stalled without proper accountability.

From that background, COSASE resolved to summon Education officials to explain how the money was spent.

While appearing before the committee on Tuesday morning, Omara failed to provide documents on how the Shs665m was spent yet there is no on-going construction works at the site.

This prompted Usuk County MP Peter Ogwang to move a motion for Omara to be detained first at parliamentary police for causing a financial loss of Shs665m.

“Mr. Commissioner (Omara) you come from Lira and I thought you would passionately work for the quick construction of Akii-bua and I am personally disappointed in you. How do you use Shs665m to construct a shade instead of a stadium and how do you construct a pit latrine in this 21st Century? I therefore move a motion that you are handed over to CID until you provide documents on how the money was spent,” Ogwang said as MPs backed his motion.

“He [Omara] comes to the committee but without proper documentation required. They have failed to make accountability on the money on Akii-bua Stadium. We are going to hand him over to the CID and ask him to get information and documentation on Akii-Bua Stadium. CID will take him and release him on communication from the committee,” the Committee Vice Chairperson Ms. Anita Among ruled as Omara was handed over to the CID.

Anita also warned Omara against acting without consulting the National Council of Sports whose duty is to implement such projects.

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