It is citizens’ right to demand for accountability of public funds
Posted Saturday, February 23 2013 at 02:00
According to Article 38(1) of the Constitution, every Ugandan Citizen has the right to participate in the affairs of government including demanding for financial accountability. It is every citizens right to know how their government manages funds.
The Auditor General (AG) is mandated by the Constitution to audit all government accounts. When the auditor is satisfied with the way in which government has accounted for funds, he issues an “unqualified opinion.” However, when there are doubts about how money was spent, he will issue a “qualified opinion.
It is your right as a citizen to know how your money is being managed. The AG reports have a lot of information that citizens and communities can use to demand for accountability. But, we do not take time to even look through such reports.
In Uganda, public audits are carried out on a yearly basis by the Auditor General (AG) and the findings are summarised in audit reports. Public audit is a periodic activity which critically examines the accounting records and financial statements of government. It is a major component of the control system in public administration that helps prevent financial and administrative irregularities.
It is until citizens take action to find out what is being reported in these reports and act, that better use of public funds will to an extent be achieved, otherwise service delivery will continue to be a myth.
Talk to your councillor and demand that the report is discussed in council meetings and pressurise your Member of Parliament to follow up on the findings/recommendations of the AG in your district.
It is time for us to demand for accountability, it is our money that is being abused and misused.
One man said that the best way to keep something from an African is by keeping it in a book, which is true to an extent as a lot of information about queried use of public funds is availed in books and online, but because of our poor reading culture, most times this information goes unnoticed.
It is time that we moved from being complacent and began to demand that those who abuse public resources are brought to account. This will take a concerted effort from all citizens. This does not mean that we go to the streets and riot: it simply means that we use the tools that have been availed to us by government, demand for what belongs to us and prosecute those that have abused public office.