Masaka Municipality Faulted on Abuse of USMID Funds

2224 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
Masaka Municipality Town Clerk Paul Omoko said that the money was spent on procuring of planning equipment, Induction of political leaders, retooling of some offices, institutional strengthening, workshops, facilitating staffs on foreign travels and their career development courses, public sensitization among things.

 The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament has instituted a special investigation on expenditures under the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development-USMID project in Masaka Municipality.

The five-year World Bank funded project is designed to improve infrastructure in targeted municipalities. The Program, now in its fifth year of implementation, has seen the rehabilitation of several roads in Masaka Municipality. The road projects are Buddu Street, Yellow Knife Road, Edward Avenue, Jesserby Street, and Kabula Street.

The municipality secured 30.19 billion Shillings to work on selected infrastructure priorities especially roads in the area since the financial year 2013/2014. At least 1.9 billion Shillings of this, was earmarked for capacity building components.

Masaka Municipality Town Clerk Paul Omoko told the Public Accounts Committee of parliament that the money was spent on procuring of planning equipment, Induction of political leaders, retooling of some offices, institutional strengthening, workshops, facilitating staffs on foreign travels and their career development courses, public sensitization among things.

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However, the committee raised queries on expenditure records of the funds after the Town Clerk failed to adduce supporting documents to back up his explanation.

Jackson Odur and Robert Kafeero Ssekitoleeko, the MPs for Kibanda South and Nakifuma constituency respectively demanded that the Town Clerk furnishes the committee with documents detailing specifications of the entire budget for capacity building.

He asked for among others things travel documents and certified academic certificates of the staffs that allegedly went for further studies as well invoices and payment slips for the equipment the municipality claim to have bought.
 
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Committee chairperson Reagan Okumu also faulted the Town Clerk for the decisions to spend USMID project funds on facilitating politicians who according to him are not part of the project priorities and direct beneficiaries of such funds.

The committee has resolved that the Town Clerk and recovers all monies spent on facilitating politicians from the municipality budget and be returned to the project accounts.
 
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Engineer Isaac Mutenyo, the USMID programs coordinator at the Ministry of Lands and Urban Development has also faulted the municipality for spending the said funds before seeking guidance from the ministry.