By Alfred Wasike
IN the first ever investigation into the Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA), the Inspector General of Government (IGG) has ordered FUFA boss Denis Obua and 16 other top officials to refund sh333m to the soccer body within a month or face prosecution and a total ban on holding any public office.
In a damning 51-page report the IGG, Jotham Tumwesigye, directed Obua to refund sh104, 467,384, John Baptist Semanobe (vice-president) sh1.5m, Haruna Mawanda (general secretary) sh13.3m, Moses Senkubuge (executive secretary) sh6.5m, Michael Okiror (former treasurer) sh40m, Hassan Galiwango (former treasurer/Sembabule RDC)-sh21.5, Ssegujja M.(former delegate Nakasongola) sh41.9m, Leo Adraa (Cranesâ€™ deputy coach) sh29.6m, Godfrey Kisekka (former general secretary) sh27.7m.
Others are Muhamudu Kalema (filing clerk) sh9.7m, Livingstone Lajan (Zone 9 chairman) sh16.9m, Tom Kihika (FUFA delegate) sh4.6m, Stephen Katumba (former FIFA ref) sh3m, Henry Buyengo-(FUFA co-ordinator) sh4.4m, Crispus Muyinda (FUFA delegate) sh2.5m, David Odea (FUFA delegate) sh6.7m and Eddy Ssembatya (now an accountant in Parliament) sh19.5m.
The IGG was riled by the way the FUFA management tried to resist his intervention.
FUFA officials insisted the body was only accountable to FIFA and not to Uganda, because it (FIFA) funds most of their activities. Investigations revealed gross mismanagement of finances.
FUFA is a public body under the National Council of Sports and is established by an Act of Parliament in 1964.
â€œTherefore FUFA officials are accountable to Ugandans and should account for all the money they spent,â€ the IGG ordered.
FUFA is a result of the Uganda Football Association born in the 1920s.
The probe revealed there was no transparency in the management of finances and no proceedures were followed in spending money to the extent that cash withdrawals were kept by the treasurer and paid out by him.
It also revealed that the accountant would only be instructed verbally to make vouchers for expenditures that had already taken place. therefore, he had no source documents, like requisitions.
The IGG recommended that the Ministry of Education and Sports should prevail upon the FUFA administration to ensure that proper financial guidelines are put in place immediately and strictly adhered to.
The IGG said the probe was a result of a complaint from a concerned Ugandan that his office received on September 28, 2001 alleging that FUFA executives diverted most of the funds that FUFA received since they took over office, to unclear expenditures.
Investigations to establish FUFAâ€™s source of funding, determine whether the funds were properly spent and accounted for and establish who were involved in any malpractice began in October 2001.
The probe revealed that between December 1998 and June 2001, FUFA received sh1.9b. It received sh921.7m from FIFA, sh10.1m from the Confederation of African Football (CAF), sh21m from Nile sponsorship, sh47.2m from the National Council of Sports, sh21.7m from the National Football League Committee, sh2.3m as fees from member associations, sh685.7m as shares from football matches, sh22.6m from Celtel sponsorship, sh50.3m from the Ministry of Education and Sports, sh57m from MTN sponsorship, loans from individuals (Wilson Tumwine lent FUFA sh5.07m and Michael Okiror sh42m).
Bank records revealed that grants from FIFA were usually withdrawn from the FUFA account number 300107004236 in the UCB City Branch, immediately they were banked, but the withdrawals were never vouched.
The cashbook shows that such withdrawals were always kept and spent as cash.
â€œOf the total amount spent in the period December 1998 to June 2001, a total of sh591, 604,629 was not accounted for. For most of the expenditure, the only expenditure document available is a payment voucher without a requisition, which is evidence of how the amount involved was spent. In some cases, the recipient of the money is not indicated,â€ he noted.
Payments totalling sh160.7m, were indicated to have been paid to 19 companies for the supply of services but there was no evidence that the money was received by the companies. The payments were indicated to have been made in cash. FUFA did not have any documents showing why it paid these organisations.
FUFA claims to have paid Orient Tours & Travel sh65m, Tourist Hotel sh19.5m, Nakivubo Stadium sh25.6, Marvin Hotel sh9.5m, M.T.M. Catering Services sh5m, Interior Clue sh4.8m, Villa Sports Club sh4m, Kampala Archdiocese Hotel sh4.5m, Hotel Africana sh2.8m, MFI Office Solutions, sh2.5m, Jet Tours sh2m, Namboole Hotel sh7.7m, Oscar Industries Ltd sh1.6m, Equator Prefect Works sh1.9m, PICA sh1.5m, Bellevue Hotel sh1m, Shamu Standard Auctioneers sh1m, Fit Property Links sh500,000 and M/s Kibedi & Co Advocates sh200,000/=.
Nakivubo Stadium manager Eugene Semujju told the IGG that the stadium did not receive the sh22,600,000 as claimed by FUFA. He said FUFA owed the stadium sh49m, as at December 29, 2000.
Tourist Hotel also denied receiving sh19.5m and sh3m as shown by vouchers no. 206 of 31/3/2001 and no.413 of 13/6/2001.
The probe showed that FUFAâ€™s financial records do not tally.
FIFA grants in 1999/2000 are recorded as sh352m in the final accounts and bank statements, yet the cash book for the same period shows that sh310.3m was received.
The final accounts and bank statements for the year 2000/01, indicate that sh5.2m was received from the NCS, yet the cash book for the same year indicated that sh1.2m had been received.
The cash book for the year 1999/2000 shows that no expense was incurred on rent, and the final accounts show that sh1.2m was spent on rent.
Loan refunds of sh97.6m and contributions of sh3m are not indicated in the final accounts.
It is not clear how the loans were contracted.
FUFA officials found by the IGG not to have accounted for the monies were summoned to avail accountability.
Only Mbarara mayor and former vice-president Wilson Tumwine, Sembatya, Okiror, G.W. Byaruhanga (Kibaale delegate) turned up to account for the money they received.
Others like Obua, Semanobe, Kalema, Katumba, Mawanda, Lajan and Kisekka failed to account for the money they received.
Buyego, Muyinda, Adraa, Ssenkubuge not only failed to account for the money but also failed to honour the IGGâ€™s summons.
The IGG singled out Ssembatya, the assistant treasurer who, â€œexhibited a high level of incompetence by making payments without requisitions. in most cases the evidence of payments consisted of a single sheet of paper in form of a voucher and no requisitions were required.â€
Ssembatya told the IGG that FUFA did not have guidelines on how finances should be handled. The IGG discovered that it was Ssembatya who claimed to have paid sh19.5m to Tourist Hotel. The hotel denied receipt of the money.
Meanwhile, the troubled FUFA has asked for a US$125,000 (about sh250m) grant from the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) to support the Uganda Cranes and the Under 23 team preparations.