There are no new forgeries at the OPM
Posted Wednesday, January 23 2013 at 02:00
The truth is that for some time, the Police have been investigating Officers who received money for various activities and OPM has fully co-operated to ease the inquiry.
In the Daily Monitor of Monday, January 21, in a story titled “Forgeries, more rot found in OPM scam”, the Director CIID Grace Akullo, is reported to have said the Police has interrogated the Permanent Secretary, OPM and that the “theft” could be twice more than the Shs15.7 billion earlier reported.
The truth is that for some time, the Police have been investigating Officers who received money for various activities and OPM has fully co-operated to ease the inquiry. The support accorded to the investigations is intended to ascertain how some individual officers may have abused funds meant for field activities. And a result, some of the specific cases are coming up in court, starting next week.
In the same way, with police still investigating other cases, we have been hoping that the requisite reports would be formally released and any other officers implicated also be required to face the law. Unfortunately, as we wait for issuance of the formal findings, some sources said to be from the police have (on and off-the-record) been reported in the media, to have said that no work has been done and all OPM activities under review are forgeries!
There have also been reports of non-cooperation with the police by the OPM! For instance, all the documents regarding Farm Engineering Activities, a company contracted to plough in Northern Uganda have been delivered to Police.
Ploughing was done three times and money was paid over a period of three years. Meantime, reports continue, some quoting police, questioning if ploughing was done! The issues of accountability raised in the article are being pursued by PAC resulting from the Auditor General’s reports and we also think PAC should be accorded time to compile and issue a comprehensive report.
The insinuation that the PS was interrogated is also misleading! The Police have requested for information, which has been provided.
It is also now known that the fraud that has affected the OPM involved transfer of funds scandal by individuals in the accounts office in collusion with their cohorts in the Treasury and Bank of Uganda. Thus, to address the problem conclusively, the probe should be expanded accordingly to burst this ring of fraudsters.
There have also been reports exaggerating the cost of houses for traditional leaders in Northern Uganda. The Chiefs’ houses were built in three categories. Category one cost Shs96 million, category two cost Shs53 million and category three Shs45 million.
These houses have been published in the papers several times but some reactionary elements continue distorting information to possibly create an impression that their cost was inflated! In fact, those who are interested in the truth may consult the office of the Paramount Chief for details about these houses.
The OPM remains fully committed to rooting out corruption from within its rank and file. This is precisely why the PS invited the police and Auditor General the moment he suspected some OPM officers of fraudulent activities. Rooting out such fraud is essential to eliminate all resource leakages for faster and sustainable development in Uganda.
Thus, while the seeming conduct of investigations in the media may be of concern, OPM’s support to the police inquiries remains unequivocal!