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
Ebola virus has mutated less than scientists feared
The Ebola virus is not mutating as quickly as scientists had feared, which is good news for treating the disease and preventing its spread....
Men fear reporting being beaten by wives
Majority of men fear reporting their wives to Police after being assaulted for fear of being ridiculed. Justice Elizabeth Musoke while addressing members of the public at the High Court chambers in Iganga district on Tuesday said domestic violence is done by both men and women but the men would not...
Include women in land reforms - Nabagereka
The Nabagereka Sylvia Nagginda has defended the role of traditional institutions in land reform issues saying ‘‘women must be at the heart and leadership of these reforms. They cannot be on the sidelines.” She was speaking at a World Bank Conference on land and poverty in Washington, DC on Wednesda...
80 Ugandan MPs ‘use vehicles as offices’
Due to limited office space at Parliament, 80 NRM MPs work from their vehicles, departing Government Chief Whip Justine Lumumba says....
Nkesiga was a corrupt-free man - Museveni
POLITICAL leaders and prominent clergy were among thousands who gathered on Thursday say farewell to Rev Solomon Nkesiga, the man of God who was known as humble and amiable....
Korea pledges sh25b to reduce maternal mortality
THE Government of South Korea and UNICEF Uganda have signed an agreement that will see the former give to the latter for taming the high maternal and new-born mortality in Karamoja and Acholi...
Will the ban of food vendors help eliminate typhoid?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter