PAC Pins Obey for Creating Ghost Pensioners Top story


In short
In his report, the Auditor General noted that 165billion Shillings had been misappropriated after it was paid to nonexistent pensioners.

Christopher Obey, the former Principal Accountant Ministry of Public Service has come under fire from the Public Accounts Committee for allegedly creating 2,434 ghost pensioner's files and defrauding government 165billion Shillings.

It followed the failure obey to table evidence before the committee to prove that the files of the pensioners existed before payment was made. Obey was accompanied to the committee by three lawyers from OSH Advocates and Nsubuga Mubiru Advocates to respond to audit queries from the Special Investigation Report on Pension Funds of 2012.

In the report, the Auditor General notes that 165billion Shillings was misappropriated after it was paid to nonexistent pensioners. The Auditor General also notes that during the audit, the Public service ministry couldn't provide the contested files adding that none of the pensioners in question existed on the ministry's pension pay roll. 

However, Obey told the committee that he drafted the payment schedule for the 2,434 pensioners after receiving their files from staff of the pension registry in the Public Service Ministry. When asked by Bufumbira East MP Eddie Kwizera to name the staff Obey said that he couldn't remember their names since he has not been in office for three years.

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Obey insisted that the files exist and can be got from the Ministry since they came from the Pension Registry.  However, a team of officials from the Auditor General's department attached to the committee said during the audit, the said files were not registered in the records of the Pension Registry at the Ministry and that there were no records to show that they were sent to Obey's office and returned.

The Committee Chairperson Alice Alaso also noted how fake accounts were created in Cairo International Bank through which pensioner's money was stolen.

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Obey said that he cannot say much about communications in the Bank but noted that it appears irregular for one to open an account before an introductory letter is sent. Alaso adjourned the meeting to tomorrow and directed Obey to furnish the committee with the names of staff of the pension registry who submitted the contested files to his office.
She also directed the staff in question to appear before the committee together with Obey and finance ministry officials. Obey is expected to submit responses to two other queries raised by the Auditor General where he paid 15.4billion Shillings to a nonexistent firm ‘Hall and Partners' as damages to pensioners and another 88billion Shillings that was budgeted for by the Public Service Ministry as Social Security benefits.


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.