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20-year-old Extortion case returns to haunt NRM boss ahead of Dokolo By-Election

By Simon Komakech

A 20-year-old case could return to haunt one of the aspirants in the Dokolo Woman Member of Parliament by-election.

In 2007, senior local council officials in the then new district of Dokolo were arrested and questioned for allegedly extorting money from Internally Displaced Persons in Batta sub-county in exchange for iron sheets.

The iron sheets were to be distributed for free as part of the Government’s resettlement package to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in northern Uganda.

Implicated in the scam were the LC3 chairperson of Batta Jimmy Okello, the Batta woman councilor Molly Kia Okello and the Gombolola Internal Security Officer Johnson Opio. The trio was arrested, after several IDPs reported to the police that they were being demanded for money in order to access the resettlement package.

Some of the IDPs, who spoke to the Uganda Radio Network (URN) on condition of anonymity at the time, said each family was asked to pay 7,000 shillings in order to receive 30 iron sheets.

The then Dokolo District Police Commander Richard Okello said investigations into the case were hampered by the refusal of some of the accused to cooperate. On Batta woman councilor, Molly Kia Okello, specifically, he said the accused refused to make a statement at the police station and ignored police summons.
Okello said the police were considering charging her with obstruction of justice, but noted that Molly Kia Okello disappeared from the district.

Molly Kia Okello is currently the NRM Chairperson Dokolo. She is being pushed to vie for the district woman MP seat in the forthcoming by-election. 

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