Three individuals have been detained by police in the Nwoya district who are accused of setting fire to the newly constructed head office of the Lii subcounty while they were attempting to extract honey from the ceiling.
Gloria Becky Atim, a Lii sub-county office attendant, Francis Okello, a boda boda rider, and another man only known as Tabu are among the suspects.
The three were found on Saturday, just a few hours after they went into hiding following the fire that destroyed the multi million building on Friday night. After being handed over by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), which built the buildings with money from Murchison Falls national park’s revenue sharing program, the offices had only been open for a month.
Police say that Atim, who works as an office attendant at the sub-county office, organized two additional people to harvest honey from one of the office ceilings around 10 p.m. on Thursday. According to reports, the fire that was used to smoke out the bees caught the timber roof structures before escalating to burn down the entire office building.
The suspects will be charged with arson, according to Damalie Nachuha, commander of the Aswa River Region police. She claims that the suspects are being held at the Lii police station while additional investigations are conducted. The resident district commissioner of Nwoya, Christopher Omara, expressed regret for the incident and accused the accountable officials of negligence.
He says that the incident gives rise to suspicions and that a thorough investigation is needed to figure out if it was an accident or sabotage. Omara also wondered how the officials of the subcounty would manage to work in an office full of bees whose honey was already ready to be harvested.