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‘Off to the Coolers!’ Senior Education Ministry official held over fraud, embezzling over 600M for Akii-bua memorial stadium

Commissioner for Physical Education in the Ministry of Education and Sports, Mr Omara Apiita has been thrown in the coolers for failing to account for over Shs665m meant for construction of the Akii-Bua Memorial Stadium.(FILE PHOTO)

PARLIAMENT- The Commissioner for Physical Education in the Ministry of Education and Sports, Mr Omara Apiita has been detained for failure to account for about 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 construction of government stadia 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 also released Shs665m for the construction of Akii-Bua Stadium, but works have since 2017 stalled without proper accountability.

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

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

This prompted Usuk County MP Peter Ogwang to move a motion for Omara to be detained 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 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 you and release you on communication from the committee,” Anita 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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