House Probes Judiciary Over 20 Untraceable Vehicles

Parliament has tasked Judiciary accounting Officer Dorcas Okalany to parade vehicles so as to prove that the log books she has are authentic.

Serere Woman MP Alice Alaso.
Serere Woman MP Alice Alaso.

Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chaired by Serere Woman MP Alice Alaso made the ruling today after it emerged that over 20 Judiciary vehicles were not traceable although the secretariat had their logbooks.

Alaso said there was evidence that some vehicles were being driven by unknown people and some rotting away at different centres.

Okalany informed the committee that there was a tendency for retiring judicial officers to leave with their official vehicles. She said the service commission had however informed the retired officers to return the vehicles since government was willing to provide them with money to buy their own vehicles.

MP Eddie Kwizera asked Okalany to explain who foots the bills in case vehicles taken by retired officers get involved in accidents.

The accounting officer indicated that she had written to all the people holding onto the vehicles that that the Judiciary wouldn’t foot bills accruing to the vehicle in their possession.

The committee also faulted Okalany for paying 588 million shillings directly to accounts of support staff to carry out judiciary activities. The accounting officer apologized to parliament for advancing money onto personal accounts of the officers.

Officers advanced moneys include Roseline  Akullo who received 36 million , Tadeo Assimwe  who got 76 million, and Samuel Emokor  who was advanced 20 million shillings. Others are Mary Babirye who received 77 million shillings,  Ggali Magi with 40 million, and Elly Kigudde with 42 million shillings. Also on the list are Jane Mugala with 25 million shillings, Rueben Tumwine with 73 million shillings, and Lameck Were who took 96 million shillings.

The committee tasked Okalany to produce bank statements of officers who received the money and also show proof that the money moved to activities they were designed to do. The accounting officer has been given one week within which to provide the bank statements.

Buzaaya County MP Martin Muzaale challenged the accounting officer on what safeguards she has to prove that money sent to personal accounts isn’t lost in case of individual loans due to the banks. He said there was evidence that other vehicles which were parked in different court premises lacked log books.

The committee also heard that Judiciary spends 6.6 billion shillings in rent and there wasn’t any efforts being done to secure a home for the sector.

Of the 362 courts only 335 are housed in the sector premises.

 

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