National
Juba mission in sh6b accountability query
Publish Date: Jul 23, 2014
Juba mission in sh6b accountability query
The Auditor General, John Muwanga
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Moses Walubiri

Uganda’s mission in Juba is caught up in an accountability query stretching up to three years (June 2009 to June 2011) with the Auditor General’s report for the period under review parting curtains on a slew of financial anomalies.

The queries involving sums of money totaling to sh6b, the Auditor General contends, arise from a breach of a string of public finance laws and regulations by then accounting officer, Habib Migade.

Among anomalies at which the Auditor General raised a red flag include failure to remit non-tax revenue (NTR), failure to remit unspent balance to the consolidated fund by the end of given financial years,  questionable payment of allowances and unexplained deposits to the mission’s account.

In an interface with legislators on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Migade put a spirited defense of his handling of the mission’s finances, although on many key queries requested for more time to get necessary supporting documents.

“These are many years since I left Juba. But if given time, I can get all the supporting documents on these queries,” Migade said when asked by MPs Tim Lwanga and Alice Alaso whether he ever carried out bank reconciliations over alleged  remitted NTR.

In the financial year ending June 2010, Migade sanctioned the withdrawal of $442,500 (about sh1.1b) of which $117,500 (sh293m) remained unaccounted for by the time of audit.

In his response to the query, Migade, now an official at ministry of foreign affairs said a huge chunk of the money was used for security purposes at a time South Sudan was preparing for the referendum on secession from Khartoum.

When asked whether the expenditure was part of the mission’s budget, Migade came clean on the anomaly, but not without a fight.

“The permanent secretary ministry of foreign affairs was aware of this expenditure,” Migade said.

According to Public Finance and Accountability Act, any diversion of public funds from activities such monies are appropriated for must have the explicit permission of the Secretary to the Treasury and not permanent secretaries.

Another query in the year ending June 2011 indicates that sh1.9b of un-spent mission funds were not remitted to the consolidated fund in breach of laws and standing orders governing public funds.

However, the clincher in the queries relate to the botched multi-billion shillings project to build a market for Ugandans operating in Juba, with the Auditor General raising a red  flag over suspicious payment of sh34m in “night allowances” to ministry of works staff for designing the market.

However, investigations by the committee indicate that the work was done at ministry offices in Kampala, which makes the payment fraudulent.
MPs Eddie Kwizera, Paul Mwiru and Gerald Karuhanga shot down Migade’s plea that his non-accountancy academic background was to blame for his failure to grasp key tenets of public financial regulations.

“You don’t need to be an accountant to be an accounting officer,” Kwizera said after Migade failed to explain his ‘unorthodox’ management of the mission’s finances.

Recently, a section of MPs on the PAC made a visit to the Juba mission, with remnants of the staff refuting Migade’s claims about the audit queries.  

Uganda’s mission in Juba is one of its youngest, serving a growing Ugandan community in a country currently reeling from a ruinous internecine conflict.

Also related to this story

Uganda embassy in Washington DC boosts tourism

Uganda’s embassies waste away

Ugandan embassy in Cairo still open

Ugandan embassy in Cairo closed over protest

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
A call to expedite Bill on legal aid provision
Government has been urged to fast-track the passing of the National Legal Aid Policy and Bill into law to help regularize the activities of legal aid providers....
‘Uganda lacks a peace and reconciliation policy’
A Makerere University lecture says the county lacks a policy that would help heal the wounds of war-scarred communities....
UBTEB exams start on Monday
The Uganda Business and Technical Examinations for the end of this year will kicking off on Monday where a total of 49, 834 candidates registered to sit for them....
Two Pallisa women killed over family land
An elderly woman and her daughter in Pallisa district are hacked to death over land wrangles within their family....
Court orders status report on terror suspect property
Grade one magistrate Simon Zirintuusa has ordered a status report on the confiscated property of one of the 10 Al shabaab-linked terror suspects arrested in September in the city suburb of Kisenyi....
Uganda’s young population soars
About 13.1 million Ugandans are aged 10-24, according to a new United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) report.The report shows that Uganda’s population at 38.8 million, contradicting the national census results which put the figure at 34.9 million....
Should workers be subjected to a 4% Health Insurance Tax??
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter