PAC Grills Local Government Officials Over Diversion of City Market Funds

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In short
However, it was diverted to cater for things like workshops and venue hire amongst other activities.

The Public Accounts Committee has grilled officials from the local government’s ministry for diverting 3 billion shillings meant for building markets in Kampala. This stems from the auditor general’s report for the 2011/2012 financial year, which implicated the Local Government Ministry for spending money on unbudgeted items and leaving out those that were budgeted for.

 The money in question was meant to buy land and facilitate the construction of Kalerwe, Kitintale, Nankulabye Markets under the Kampala markets improvement program. However, it was diverted to cater for things like workshops and venue hire amongst other activities. 

This afternoon, Patrick Mutabwire, the Acting Permanent Secretary Ministry of Local Government told PAC chaired Paul Mwiru, the Jinja East MP that, despite the fact that, part of the funds were diverted, the remaining money was given to KCCA to buy land in Busega and build Wandegeya Market.
He explained that the funds were transferred from the development budget for the market to because of encumbrances on the land hosting the three markets. Mutabwire tried hard to convince the seemingly agitated legislators that the ministry couldn't just invest public funds in risky ventures.
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MP Margaret Kiboijana suggested that the committee makes stringent recommendations in its report to parliament about the diversion of funds to unclear items without authorization.

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Luganda Bite

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Alex Byarugaba, the Isingiro South MP said the diversion of funds was a clear indication that technocrats were frustrating government efforts to eradicate poverty.

Luganda Bite

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The committee also learnt that in the 2010/2011 financial year shillings 900 million was diverted to the personal accounts of ministry officials but it was never accounted for. Mwiru tasked Mutabwire to submit a list of all officials who benefited from the money.

Mutabwire however, claimed that the money was spent on travels by officials in monitoring of different local government activities. However, Mwiru said the implicated officers will be summoned before the Committee to explain how they spent the money adding that, those found culpable will have to cough the money.


About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.