Friday July 13 2018

Govt re-appoints blacklisted PSs, CAOs

Keith Muhakanizi

Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury, Mr Keith Muhakanizi. FILE PHOTO 

By MISAIRI THEMBO KAHUNGU

KAMPALA. Government has re-appointed permanent secretaries and chief administrative officers it blacklisted three months ago over failure to account for public resources, this newspaper can reveal.
In a March 28 letter to the Clerk to Parliament, Ms Jane Kibirige, Secretary to Treasury Keith Muhakanizi had named 10 central government accounting officers that had failed to account for funds under their votes.
But the new list tabled before Parliament on Wednesday shows that nine of the 10 blacklisted central government officers, except Mr Benon Mutambi Mugisha, have bounced back. Also 18 of the 20 CAOs accused of incompetence have rebounded with only Mr Joseph Lokope and Mr Jacob Batemyetto missing out.
Central government accounting officers earlier blacklisted were Deborah Katuramu, the Secretary in the Office of the President, for diverting more than Shs500m meant for construction of two RDCs’ offices in Adjumani and Mubende, Ms Christine Guwatudde Kintu, the permanent secretary Office of the Prime Minister, for spending in excess of Shs7.7b; and Ms Edith Buturo, the accounting officer Ministry of Defence, faulted over undisclosed non-tax revenue. Others were Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire, the permanent secretary Public Service, for existence of 2,235 unclaimed pensioners in October 2016; Patrick Mugoya, the PS Ministry of Foreign Affairs, over irregular procurement of air tickets; Benon Mutambi Mugisha, PS Ministry of Internal Affairs over outstanding domestic arrears of Shs1.9b among others; and Pius Wakabi, the PS Ministry of Agriculture, over mischarge of expenditure amounting to Shs375m and advances to personal accounts amounting to Shs4.4b
Also blacklisted were Ben Kumumanya, PS Ministry of Local Government over mischarge of expenditure, diversion of project funds and nugatory expenditure of Shs359m; Dorcus Okalany, PS-Ministry of Lands over unaccounted Shs768m, and non-disclosure of grants amounting to Shs675m and $455,000; and Alex Kakooza, the PS Ministry of Education, over non-reduction of withholding tax from suppliers, huge cash withdrawals of Shs1.2b and illegible expenditure of Shs189m, among others.
Subsequently, in a May 24 letter, Mr Muhakanizi wrote to the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Local Government, Mr Ben Kumumanya, asking him to fire 20 CAOs over incompetence and also directed the ministry to nominate their replacements.
Yesterday, Mr Muhakanizi said he had blacklisted the 10 accounting officers for failing to account and have since done the needful, the reason he maintained them.

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