Lira Chief Administrative Officer Charged, remanded

The State House Anti-Corruption Unit together with the criminal Investigations Department have arraigned Mr. Ben Ogwette Otim, the Chief Administrative Officer, Lira City before the Anti-Corruption Court. The accused is charged with Abuse of Office and Corruption.

Between June 2020 and July 2021 in abuse of his authority as the CAO, he refused to communicate to the District Land Board and other relevant authorities contents of a communication from the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government halting all District Land Boards transactions on land falling within the jurisdiction of Lira City until a decision was made by government on how such land and other properties were to be shared between the city and district.

It is alleged that when Lira city was created out of Lira District Local Government, there arose conflict over the sharing of properties including land between the two jurisdictions. The CAO received letters guiding how the issue would be handled from the PS, but refused to communicate the same to the district land board.

Consequently, public land in Lira continued to be fraudulently disposed off by the district officials in connivance with the District Land Board. The land has different developments by government including schools, railway, hospitals and green spaces among others which may be destroyed due to the CAOs misconduct. Several district officials in Lira have been arrested and arraigned before court over the illegal disposal of public land.

In May 2019, Cabinet approved the creation of 15 cities including Lira City and the Ministry of Local Government has since given guidance on how the transitions should be handled. Mr. Ogwete has been remanded till 18th May 2023.

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