Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has defended the continued service of Permanent Secretaries Pius Bigirimana the former PS in the Office of the Prime Minister and now transferred to the Ministry of Gender in the recent reshuffles, Health Ministry PS Asuman Lukwago, PS Dr. Stephen Kagoda for the Internal Affairs Ministry during the Supplementary Budget Schedule 2 Debate.
This was after the Leader of Opposition Nandala Mafabi pointed out the names of permanent secretaries as not suitable for parliament appropriate money against their names in the supplementary budget since their reputation is questioned and government has not showed commitment to interdict the Permanent Secretaries.
MPs demanded that they be provided with other names of accounting officers to replace the three in order for them to pass the supplementary and appropriate public funds to people who will be accountable to them.
MP Odonga Otto said that these accounting officers are questioned and condemned by the courts in the public opinion.
He noted that they feel that these accounting officers are not clean and that they not trust them with public funds saying that they cannot trust a leaper with meat.
Planning Minister Matia Kasaija said that it is the secretary to the treasury who appoints and designates the permanent secretaries and accountants and that as for PS Pius Bigirimana matters are still under investigations and that they have not been informed that he is guilty.
MP Elija Okupa informed that an investigative report was written to the Minister of Finance and police recommended that 72 staff be investigated PS Bigirimana inclusive and that they should be interdicted.
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi said that he had not received any report from the police recommending the interdiction of the permanent secretaries and that none of these permanent secretaries had refused to respond to police requests.
He noted the anxiety expressed by MPs of placing public funds to people they are not sure of and said that according to him it is the secretary to the treasury who has the powers to appoint accounting officers.
He suggested that MPs suggest administrative action to the permanent secretaries but not to move in the direction of appropriation of funds.
He added that all laws pertaining to justice bind them and therefore they cannot refuse to act when ordered by police.
However Odonga Otto further informed the house that the Permanent secretaries were informed through the different ministries that they are required for investigation but they refused to record statements with the police, citing PS Bigirimana and Under Secretary Waduwa Flavia.
He questioned whether these two above the law to refuse making statements at the police.
The State Minister of Planning Matia Kasaija was then directed by the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga to make consultations in one week and get back to the house with three new names of accounting officers to replace PS Pius Bigirimana, Asuman Lukwago and Stephen Kagoda.