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IGG to seize wealth of top accountant

By Vision Reporter

Added 26th October 2009 03:00 AM

The Inspector General of Government (IGG) wants Nestor Machumbi Gasasira, the principal accountant of the Ministry of Health, dismissed for failure to explain the source of his enormous wealth.

The Inspector General of Government (IGG) wants Nestor Machumbi Gasasira, the principal accountant of the Ministry of Health, dismissed for failure to explain the source of his enormous wealth.

By Steven Candia

The Inspector General of Government (IGG) wants Nestor Machumbi Gasasira, the principal accountant of the Ministry of Health, dismissed for failure to explain the source of his enormous wealth.

In a letter to the Permanent Secretary (PS) at the Ministry of Finance, the IGG, Raphael Baku, said an investigation into Gasasira’s wealth found a lot of false declarations by the officer, contrary to the Leadership Code Act. The report said his wealth was not commensurate to his income.

“He should be dismissed from the public service for recklessly and knowingly giving false information in his declarations. This conduct cast doubt on his conduct as a leader and a person responsible for the efficient management of public funds and therefore is not fit to hold a position of principal accountant in the public service,” the report of October 12 reads.

The report directs the PS of finance to initiate dismissal proceedings against the officer and update him about actions taken within 60 days.

In addition to dismissal, the IGG wants all the properties found to be in excess of his income confiscated.

He also wants Gasasira barred from holding public office, whether elective or appointive, for the next five years.

In addition, he wants URA to carry out a thorough audit on the trading activities of Sagimex Enterprises, one of Gasasira’s businesses, and recover “all the taxes due to Government.”

He warned Gasasira that confiscation of the properties would start “after 30 days from the date of this letter.”

Alternatively, the IGG says, Gasasira should pay compensation to the Government in connection with properties he acquired after he became a leader and which were in excess of his income, to the tune of sh1.2b.

These include a residential house on Nyakabande, Kisoro district, valued at sh44m; a residential house in Neptune Avenue (sh16.4m); flats on two plots in Banda Kyambogo (sh548m); a plot at Lake Drive Luzira (sh330m); a plot on Luthuli Avenue in Bugolobi (sh200m); a plot on Bukoto Crescent (sh30m); a Land Cruiser (sh31m) and a block making machine worth sh17m.

The raft of recommendations were made following an investigation and verification by the IGG of his 2002, 2005 and 2007 declarations of income, assets and liabilities.

According to the report, the verification confirmed that Gasasira’s net annual salary was sh6.2m in 2001; sh7m in 2002; sh7.8m in 2003; sh8m in 2004 and sh4m between January and May 2005. It also confirmed that Gasasira got sh30m in August 2003 from the sale of a plot on Robert Mugabe Road and another sh160m in March 2004 from the sale of another plot on Bukoto Crescent, Kampala.

“However, although Gasasira declared that he got income from transport activities, the sale of vehicles and the trading activities of his company, Sagimex Enterprises, he failed to prove incomes from the said activities,” the report read.

Among Gasasira’s liabilities are two mortgages of sh150m and 126m, acquired in 2004, for properties on Luthuli Avenue and Lake View Luzira.

In addition, the report says, Gasasira also secured a sh50m loan in 2003 for the purchase of a plot in Naguru and an overdraft of sh50m in the then Allied Bank.

The report says Gasasira deposited sh102m in 2003, sh162.5 in 2004 and sh60m in 2005.

In addition, the reports points out, he deposited sh57m onto Sagimex bank account in 2003, sh130m in 2004 and sh52.3m in 2005 but “failed to explain the sources of the deposits.”

Attempts to get comment from Dr. Sam Zaramba, the acting PS of health and his counterpart in finance, Chris Kasami, were futile. Zaramba said he was in a meeting while Kasami did not pick his phone.

IGG to seize wealth of top accountant

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