NWSC engineer arrested for causing financial loss worth Shs 100m

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Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | An official from the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) overseeing the Arua area faces accusations of causing a financial loss totaling Shs100 million. Mr. Norman Ijuka, who had been evading authorities, was apprehended on January 3, as per the Inspectorate of Government.

The Ombudsman’s office disclosed that Mr. Ijuka stands accused of pilfering water pipes designated for the Odupi water project in Omugo Sub-county, Terego District.

Additionally, he allegedly stole iron bars, concrete blocks, and assorted paints worth Shs 30 million from the construction site of the Arua Area NWSC office.

The offence of causing financial loss carries penalties under the Anti-Corruption Act, 2009, including a fine not exceeding Shs 7.2 million or a maximum imprisonment term of 14 years, or both.

A whistleblower initially raised these allegations in December, shedding light on a purported scheme within the corporation exploiting government property for personal gain.

Allegedly, the perpetrators operate illicit stores where stolen items are kept and sold, with some items crossing the border into the DR Congo.

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Dr. Silver Mugisha, the NWSC managing Director, confirmed that an internal investigation had been conducted, concluding that Mr. Ijuka was guilty of stealing pipes valued at Shs 76.5 million. Action based on the report’s findings is forthcoming.

An internal audit report for the July to September 2023 quarter indicated missing pipes for the Odupi Borehole priority, aligning with the Ombudsman’s observations.

Auditors discovered that out of 862 UPVC pipes worth Shs102 million received, only 156 were laid, leaving 706 pieces valued at Shs83 million unaccounted for.