The Internal Security Organisation (ISO) has penned a damning report about the financial impropriety within the judiciary, which it has sent to President Yoweri Museveni, New Vision has learnt.
Impeccable sources have revealed that the report touches on salient financial misappropriation cases in the judiciary, in which several senior judiciary staff were implicated.
Among the issues also captured in the report is the alleged sh34b mischarged expenditure, which resulted in the sacking of former judiciary permanent secretary, Kagole Kivumbi.
Kivumbi, who was sent on forced leave on July 19 this year, joined the judiciary on November 15, 2016. Kivumbi was replaced by Pius Bigirimana.
Sources within ISO confirmed that the report was compiled and sent to the President, but declined to reveal the contents therein, saying it was confidential.
The source revealed that ISO was approached by a senior National Resistance Movement leader (name withheld) after a section of the judiciary staff, who are close to Kivumbi, approached him.
“To date, we highly believe Kivumbi was thrown out because he refused to adhere to the thieving tendencies of some people within the judiciary. That is why we contacted him for help. Those people started fighting Kivumbi ever since he joined the judiciary because he made new changes, which did not please many,” a senior judiciary staff revealed.
Upon joining the judiciary, the source said Kivumbi announced new measures, which included; cleaning the payroll and improving the financial and human resource management.
The source revealed that at least 400 staff were found to be ghosts on the judiciary payroll. “The judiciary payroll had about 2,100 staff, excluding judges. There was also 520 staff on contract, some of whom had salary arrears of up to seven months. When Kivumbi brought all this to the fore, the fights started,” the source noted.
AG report, other investigations
The Auditor-General, John Muwanga, in his report for the financial year 2017/18 raised a number of queries on how money was spent in the judiciary, noting that sh34b was found to be mischarged expenditure; which implies that money was used for activities other than those it was budgeted for.
Muwanga said this undermines the budgeting process and the intentions of the appropriating authority. But the judiciary explained that of the 34b that Muwanga said was mischarged, sh28b was used on correctly charged items, apart from sh5.89b.
Out of the sh5.89b, documents show that sh2.24b that was budgeted for computer supplies ended up being used to purchase cars and furniture for the newly appointed judges. However, this change was done with the approval of the secretary to the treasury.
Kivumbi noted that he raised the issue of the mischarged expenditure to the auditors immediately after he assumed office in 2016 and called for rectification of the anomaly, but it has not been corrected to date.
Relatedly, Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which is chaired by Nandala Mafabi, is probing the sh34b mischarged expenditure.
The Inspector-General of Government (IGG), Irene Mulyagonja, recently described the judiciary matter as ‘very sensitive’. The IGG is investigating senior accounting officers, office attendants, and secretaries in the Judiciary over alleged fraud and embezzlement of over sh1b.
The investigations follow a petition by Julius Mandu, an accountant with the Judicial Training Institute (JTI) who was last year interdicted for allegedly breaking into the judiciary safe. But there have been also counter-accusations against Mandu that he failed to account for JTI funds amounting to over sh3b.