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Top Education ministry official detained over diverting Akii-Bua Stadium construction fund

CORRUPTION | A senior official at the Ministry of Education and Sports has been detained for failure to account for Shs665 million meant for construction of Akii-Bua Memorial Stadium.

Omara Apiita, the commissioner for physical education, along with other officials from the ministry, were appearing before the parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) to explain delays in construction of public sports facilities, including the Akii-Bua Stadium in Lira District, when he failed to explain the whereabouts of the funds, forcing the committee to order his arrest.

President Museveni pledged to construct Akii-Bua Stadium in memory of John Akii-Bua, the first Ugandan to win an Olympic track and field gold medal.

The government released Shs665 million for the construction of the stadium, but works have since 2017 stalled without proper accountability of the funds.

This prompted Cosase to summon Education ministry officials to explain how the monies were spent.

While appearing before the committee on Tuesday, Omara failed to provide documents on how the Shs665 million 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 and investigated for causing a financial loss of Shs665 million.

“Omara, you come from Lira and I thought you would be passionately working for the quick construction of Akii-Bua stadium and I am personally disappointed in you. How do you use Shs665 million to construct a shade instead of a stadium and how do you construct a pit-latrine in this 21st Century? I 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.

The committee ordered that CID ensures Omara gets information and documentation on Akii-Bua Stadium and warned him against acting without consulting the National Council of Sports whose duty is to implement such projects.

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