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Internal affairs PS, former undersecretary summoned by PAC

FILE PHOTO: Public Accounts Committee of Parliament

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament has summoned Internal Affairs Ministry Permanent Secretary Benon Mugisha Mutambi together with former Undersecretary Aggrey Wunyi to answer queries on their expenditures.

The summonses were issued this afternoon by PAC Vice Chairperson Okin P.P Ojara, on the basis of the ministry’s failure to utilize funds expended from Finance. According to the Ministry’s statement of accounts, the sector used 1.8 out of an allocation of 2 billion Shillings that was committed to clearing domestic arrears.

PAC heard from Aidati Nandudu, the Ministry of Internal Affairs Principal Accountant that the money had been fully utilized. She stated that 1.77 billion Shillings was paid to the Regional Coordination Unit for Small Arms (RESA) as subscription fee arrears, 73 million Shillings was spent on salary arrears while 222 million Shillings was committed to RESA as arrears in advance.

But Nandudu’s submission was dismissed after members questioned the advance payment of 222 million Shillings to RESA. The members observed that the payment, together with an additional 73 million Shillings allegedly spent on salary arrears is not captured in the ministry’s books of accounts.

Kalungu West MP Joseph Sewungu pointed out that the ministry’s accounts had been signed by someone identified as Aggrey Wunyi on behalf of the Permanent Secretary Benon Mugisha Mutambi, raising another grey area in the accountabilities.

Undersecretary Lynette Bagonza told the committee that Wunyi would be better placed to respond to the queries since she was not yet posted in the office during the financial year under review. Bagonza had led the ministry’s officials before the committee to answer audit queries raised by Auditor General John Muwanga in his June 2018 report.

Bukoto East MP Florence Namayanja together with Bukedea Woman MP Anita Among demanded that the committee summons the former Undersecretary Aggrey Wunyi who handled the ministry funds for the financial year to appear and offer accountability.

Okin ruled that the current Undersecretary was not capable to answer queries raised before her posting to the docket. He added that besides the questionable domestic arrears payment, the summoned officials will be required to answer advance payments totalling 196.2 million Shillings that were made to personal accounts.

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