Former Local Government Minister On Spot Over Sh 12 Billion Misallocation
The former acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Patrick Mutabwire is on the spot over mis-allocation of 12 billion shillings.
Mutabwire appeared before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday September 28th 2016, to respond to queries raised in the Auditor General’s report of 2014/2015 financial year. One of the queries was on the diversion of the Ugx 12 billion, which was meant to procure 111 vehicles for all district chairpersons and six other vehicles for the ministry.
However, it was noted that only Ugx 1.48 billion was spent on the vehicles procured from M/S Toyota Limited while the balance of Shs 5.5 million was diverted and utilized on recurrent expenditure without authority from the Permanent Secretary Treasury.
“These funds were subsequently transferred to staff personal accounts, with Shs 4.3 billion paid for African Day of Decentralization celebrations,” the Auditor General said.
In response, Mutabwire admitted to the committee members that the funds were diverted for the celebrations that were held in August 2014 in Kabale district, stating that the funds were used in anticipation of late releases from the Ministry of Finance.
However, this drew stern reactions from the legislators, who questioned Mutabwire’s decision to make illegal decisions. Matthias Mpuuga, Masaka Municipality MP, wondered whether the celebrations were an urgent activity that forced the mischarge. This is not the first time Mutabwire has been in the news. In 2015, the Inspector General of Government ordered for the interdiction of Mutabwire on allegations of diversion and massive loss of the same funds in the ministry.
The investigation stemmed from whistle blower reports that the more than Shs 12 billion was lost in the 2014/2015 financial year arising from fraudulent acts and incompetence by Mutabwire.