Public Accounts Committee Accuses Auditor General of Fuelling Corruption

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Members of Parliament (MPs) on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have accused John Muwanga, the Auditor General of fuelling corruption in Uganda citing his failure to release the Shs. 39 billion special audit report on the theft of iron sheets and goats meant for vulnerable communities in Karamoja.

The accusations followed an admission made by officials from the Auditor General’s office that the report on the iron sheets scandal was still in possession of the Auditor General, an issue that prompted the MPs to raise concerns about why the report is still being kept private, yet over Shs. 39 billion of public funds were misused.

The accusations were made on May 13, 2024, during a meeting held between PAC and officials from the Office of the Prime Minister.

Muwanga Kivumbi, Chairperson Public Accounts Committee questioned the delays in publishing the report.

β€œYou know we are almost completing another year without giving the country the report, tell my namesake (John Muwanga) that this is extremely unfair to the country. Tell the Auditor General that he is also becoming part of the corruption in this country because that breeds impunity,” Kivumbi said.

During the meeting, it was reported that Shs. 6.8 billion of the money allocated to the distribution of goats project, was spent on travel allowances, fuel, and maintenance of cars by officials from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).

β€œWhat concerns me is that workshops and seminars took Shsm 1.8 Billion, Travel in land Shs1.8 Billion, another travel in land Shs 2.5Bn. A total of Shs 6.8 Billion of the Shs 39 Billion that is how you spent it and this was money originally for distribution of goats,” Kivumbi said.

Kivumbi questioned the urgency put by OPM when processing the supplementary budget.

β€œThe manner over which the urgency you put on this money, when we are processing the so-called supplementary budgets, it is like this Uganda will close if we don’t give you this money,” he said.

During the preliminary December 2023 report by the Auditor General, it was reported that out of the Shs. 39 billion meant for the procurement and distribution of goats and iron sheets in Karamoja, Shs. 1.78 billion was spent on travel on the land, while fuel, oil, and lubricants cost Shs 700 million.

OPM also spent Shs. 300 Million on vehicle maintenance and also allocated another Shs. 2.2 billion on travel in land for monitoring, while civil works for maintenance of the Moroto regional office cost Shs. 500 million, and procurement of iron sheets cost Shs. 8.8 billion.

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