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President’s Office returns unspent sh2.9 billion COVID-19 cash to treasury

The national Covid-19 task-force receive a donation recently. President’s Office has returned over sh2billion originally meant for COVID-19 activitiesFILE PHOTO

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Office of the President has returned sh2.9 billion to the treasury after failing to spend it on activities for which it was allocated. The money is part of an allocation of sh16.8 billion which the office received to facilitate COVID-19 response activities in April.

Out of this, sh13.7 billion was given to Resident District Commissioners, sh1.8 billion went towards security, sh1 billion was used on COVID-19 interventions under Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and sh200 million went to the RDC’s secretariat in Kampala. A balance of sh2.9 billion was not utilized by the close of the financial year on June 30.

Yunus Kakande, the secretary to the Office of the President says that the Office of the President has used some of the money from its vote to support COVID-19 interventions in the districts. Some of the money was spent on managing isolation centres as well as facilitating movement and security in the border districts.

He adds that although they have pressing needs like procurement of motor vehicles for RDCs, using the money which was meant specifically for COVID-19 would create problems for the office.

Kakande was appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament on Thursday to respond to queries raised by the Auditor-General for the financial year 2018-2019.

He and the rest of his team pleaded with Parliament to approve a reallocation of the money under the new financial year, for which COVID-19 activities were not budgeted.

Tororo South MP Fred Angura, however, questioned how the office of the President was facilitating the people on the ground like District Internal Security Officers (DISO)’s among others.  He said that districts like Tororo and others which are at the centre of COVID-19 need money but were never facilitated, yet the money is being returned unutilised.

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