Town Clerk Asked to Recover Ugx35Million Spent on Fake Trip

3151 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
The expense was approved by the Municipality Council last year to facilitate a study tour through which Councilors would pick lessons from Kigali's approach to waste management and street parking among others. It emerged however that although the money was spent, the councilors never traveled to Rwanda.

Joseph Kimbowa, the Masaka Town Clerk is facing pressure to recover over 35million Shillings spent on a queried tour of the Rwanda Capital Kigali by municipal councilors. 

The expense was approved by the Municipality Council last year to facilitate a study tour through which Councilors would pick lessons from Kigali's approach to waste management and street parking among others.  It emerged however that although the money was spent, the councilors never traveled to Rwanda.

The Auditor General in his report for the year 2014 shows that there is no evidence that the councilors spent the money on the approved activity. The report indicates that the Town Clerk Joseph Kimbowa did not provide any documents in form of vouchers, receipts to back the expenditure.

However, the Councilors argue that they spent their own money on the said trip.

Henry Busuulwa, the Masaka Municipality Deputy Mayor says that although he does not remember the exact date, he is certain that the councilors traveled to Kigali. He however says that the money spent on the trip was from their sitting allowance.

Godfrey Kayemba, the Masaka Municipal Mayor also says the trip took place but blames the Town Clerk and the Treasurer for failing to avail the Auditor General with the necessary documents.

But Josephine Namulindwa, a resident of Masaka wants the councilors to refund the money. She explains that much as they claim to have travelled to Rwanda, the trip was wastage of taxpayers' money.

Namulindwa says although the councilors claimed to have travelled to Kigali to pick lessons on waste management, Masaka municipality continues to choke on garbage.

But Joseph Kimbowa, the Masaka Town clerk says that the Clerk to Masaka Municipal council had every document regarding this trip but was not in office at the time of the Audit.
 
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About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.