The Ugandan Parliament has unanimously agreed to adopt the report of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of parliament into the mismanagement of funds meant for the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).
The house agreed with the report that the Secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi and former Permanent Secretary in the office of the Prime Minister Pius Bigirimana be held accountable for mismanagement of the funds and negligence.
The MPs accused Muhakanizi of conniving with the officials in the office of the Prime Minister to steal the finds by giving them leeway to transfer money as and when they wanted in his letter.
Bukedea district woman MP Rose Akol said that it was the duty of the accounting officer to account for the money received and suggested that Muhakanizi be absolved of any wrong doing.
But other members and Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said that the letter he wrote authorising them to withdraw money at any time gave the officials leeway to misuse the funds.
The MPs also agreed with the committee report that Pius Bigirimana should be held accountable for the mismanagement of the funds, for negligence and diversion of PRDP money meant for Karamoja.
Kakooza’s efforts to defend Bigirimana saying that it was the responsibility of the Accountant General who ordered for the transfer of the funds not PS fell flat with the MPs saying that all the accounts are under the administration of the accounting officer.
Serere district woman MP Alice Alaso said that for funds to be transferred from a Bank of Uganda account to personal accounts it had to be done on the authorisation of Bigirimana as the Permanent Secretary.
The others that were implicated are; former accountant general Godfrey Kazinda, BOU Milton Opiyo, Gustavo Bwoki, Bright Atwine, David Mugisha, Isaac Mpoza and Amon Takwenda.
After an almost three hour debate, the house unanimously agreed to adopt the recommendations of the report of the committee.
The house however refused to adopt the recommendations of Ssewungu’s minority report which suggested that Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi be forced to resign or relieved of his duties by the appointing authority for his role in the diversion of funds and for negligence.
Sewungu accused Mbabazi of using some of the funds to buy himself a vehicle but Mbabazi argued that the car was procured by the ministry not him as an individual. After a vote on Sewungu’s recommendations, Mbabazi was exonerated of wrong doing with 51 members voting against the recommendations, 17 voting for it and 10 abstaining.
More than 50 billion shillings meant for the PRDP programme in Northern Uganda was lost in the office of the prime minister.