Friday July 6 2012

Nusaf II boss suspended over accountability

By Robert Atiku

The Maracha District Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (Nusaf) II technical officer has been suspended over failure to provide accountability of the funds.

Mr Ernest Enzema, who is in-charge of the Nusaf programme, was suspended by the district executive last week.

The district chairperson, Mr Emmanuel Adripiyo, said with the accountability problems, the communities would remain in poverty.

“The suspension of the officer is to pave way for investigations into the matter,” Mr Adripiyo added.

But speaking to this newspaper yesterday, Mr Enzema, said several sub-counties have not yet exhausted the funds given to them and others have not submitted accountability forms for verification.

“Some communities have failed to utilise the funds given to them. And the district has only accounted for Shs533 million. And if there is such delay, it affects subsequent disbursement of more funds,” he said.

The suspension comes amid fears that government will not give more money to the region if clear accountability is not tabled.

Shs1 billion was remitted to the district by the central government in February.

The money was channelled to the area to help it fight poverty.

Normally communities are asked to identify economically viable activities in order to improve the living conditions at household level.

Information that has reached this newspaper indicates that some organisations had finished their projects without using all the money while others were still implementing the projects yet the deadline for using the money has passed.

The Chief Administrative Officer, Mr Kazimiro Ezaruku, said the issue of accountability remains a big problem because of the guidelines.

According to the guidelines, districts that have outstanding accountability obligation of more than Shs50 million do not qualify for the next disbursement of funds.

The districts are supposed to account for the funds received within six months.

The district authorities have now instituted a team to find out which sub-counties have failed to furnish the authorities with accountability.

Residents, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprimand, said most of the communities are not used to huge sums of money and fail to budget and account for the funds remitted to them.