UGANDA, Jinja | Real Muloodi News | The State House Anti-Corruption Unit, in cooperation with the Internal Security Organisation (ISO), and the Kiira Regional Police have arrested six Jinja City officials for illegally selling off government school land.
The accused are; Amina Mutesi, City Education Officer, Peter D. Mawerere, Town Clerk, Fred Waiswa Sr, Land Management Officer, Charles Nampendo Sr, Physical Planner, Joy Kasowole, Ag. Town Clerk, and Ismail Batabani.
Their arrests follow intense investigations into complaints of grabbing Spire Road Primary School land, which began with a stakeholders meeting on Thursday July 7th, and resulted in the arrest of the top government officials.
Robert Kitimbo, the Jinja City surveyor, went into hiding after being notified about the ongoing arrests. Mr Kitimbo was set to be arrested with his partners with whom it is alleged he connived to grab the school land.
The officials were arrested on accusations of subdividing part of Spire Road Primary School land into 11 plots, which they shared amongst themselves and sold to unidentified developers across the city.
Amina Mutesi, an education officer who was among those detained, purportedly diverted Universal Primary Education funds amounting to USh1.4 billion to a private account of a certain teacher’s association. She is also accused of illegally letting Spire Road Primary School structures to Makerere and Team Universities.
Ms Mutesi, who operates a kiosk within the school’s premises, is said to have allocated herself land of 100 by 200 in size from the school land, and gave the remaining land to various businessmen and politicians.
It is also alleged that the suspects have over the past two years mismanaged USh1.4 billion meant to develop government schools across Jinja City.
They further stand accused of using their offices to illegally subdivide the football playground at Lake Site Primary School in the Southern Division of Jinja City, where each of them constructed rental houses. They apparently registered the land titles using the particulars of their relatives to disguise ownership.
The suspects are also being investigated for pursuing a land title on which a two-classroom block was constructed at Lake Site Primary School during the financial year 2017/2018.
Mariam Namulemo, a member of the school management committee of Lake Site Primary School, says that for the past three years, their efforts to report cases of land grabbing to police were never addressed. She takes this non-responsiveness to have been the breeding room for the illegal developments on the school land.
The Jinja City Resident City Commissioner, Saleh Kamba, has thanked the investigating team for their efforts in fighting graft tendencies which he says are the main causes of land grabbing in Jinja City.
James Mubi, the Kiira regional police spokesperson, says that investigations are underway, with the suspects recording statements.
Meanwhile, the suspects are currently detained at Nalufenya Police Station, awaiting further prosecution.
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