Three people in Nwoya district are in police custody accused of burning the newly built Lii Sub-county head offices while trying to harvest honey from the ceiling. They are Gloria Becky Atim, an office attendant at Lii Sub-county, Francis Okello a Boda boda rider and another man only identified as Tabu.
The trio was picked on Saturday, hours after they went into hiding following the Friday night inferno that razed down the multi-million Shillings building. The Subcounty office had been in operation for just a month after being handed over by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) which constructed it using the revenue sharing fund from Murchison Falls National Park.
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According to police reports, Atim, who works as an office attendant at the sub-county office mobilized two other people at about 10 pm on Thursday evening to harvest honey from one of the office ceilings. It is reported that in the process of using fire to smoke out the bees, the fire caught the timber roof structures before escalating and burning down the whole office block.
The Aswa River Region Police Commander, Damalie Nachuha confirmed the arrest of the suspects in an interview with Uganda Radio Network on Sunday adding that they will be charged with arson. Nachuha says the Police are investigating the matter to establish exactly what caused the fire and the motives behind it.
She says the suspects are being detained at Lii Police station pending further investigations. Christopher Omara, the Nwoya Resident District Commissioner regretted the incident and accused the responsible officials of negligence.
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He says the incident raises suspicion and called for a thorough investigation to establish whether it was an accident or a case of sabotage. Omara also wondered how the Sub-county officials would comfortably work in an office infested by bees until its honey is ready for harvest.
Efforts to get comments from the Lii Sub-county LC III Chairperson, Justine Odong Ajaji were futile by the time of filing this story as his known mobile phone number wasn’t reachable.
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