A police officer in Uganda’ is on spot for presenting ‘ghost’ relatives of victims of recent killings to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for irregular financial gain.
Patrick Mbabazi is attached to Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in Lwengo district.
Early this month, 25 people from families that lost their relatives in the machete attacks in the central Masaka sub-region met Museveni at State House. Each representative received Shs 10 million from the president as condolence money.
However, it is now emerging that some of the beneficiaries were not relatives to the machete victims and that unscrupulous individuals including security officers that coordinated the movement of the beneficiaries shared the money.
Three relatives of Francis Ruhamyakaaka, one of the those murdered in Nakateeta village Kisekka sub-county in Lwengo district have formally complained to the Lwengo resident district commissioner (RDC) over their condolence fees that went into the wrong hands.
Led by George Mbonimpa, a cousin to the deceased, the relatives accuse Mbabazi of deliberately conniving with other people to present an extra ‘fake’ person as their family representative.
According to him, the actual relatives of Ruhamyakaaka were swapped with Fred Ssentongo who was just a friend. He reportedly received the money, which he shared with security officers.
Mbonimpa explains that he and the deceased came to Lwengo as casual labourers from Kisoro district. He revealed that when the murder happened, he moved to their home district to notify their family, which gave advantage to unscrupulous to falsely receive the money and share it.
Mbonimpa says that he reported the matter to the area police station, which he has kept tossing him around prompting them to run to higher offices.
To prove his claims, Mbonimpa and two other relatives on Wednesday presented introductory letters from their local leaders and security in Kisoro district to Lwengo RDC, Herman Ssentongo confirming the particulars of the deceased person and his relatives.
Ssentongo has instructed Peter Twala, the Lwengo district police commander to arrest all the people mentioned in the fraud and to record statements in relation to the allegations.
He says that security is also going to carry out verification on all people that received the money to ensure that it went to the right people.
Ibrahim Kitatta, the Lwengo district LC V chairperson indicates that he is in contact with higher police authorities to help mobilize support required to enable relatives to exhume the body and take it for a decent burial.