Investigations into the alleged misappropriation of Shs32 billion from the Judiciary in 2017/2018 financial year budget has taken a new twist following a directive to all judicial officers of various courts to submit bank statements to confirm how much money they received.
In July this year, the former permanent secretary of the Judiciary, Mr Expedito Kagole Kivumbi, was sent on forced leave pending investigations into alleged abuse of funds.
The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chaired by Budadiri West MP Nathan Nandala Mafabi is investigating the alleged plunder following a whistleblower’s petition on suspected collusion to embezzle the money from the Judiciary account.
On November 11, the new Permanent Secretary of the Judiciary, Mr Pius Bigirimana, wrote to all heads of court stations across the country to submit their bank statements for the financial years 2016/2017, 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 to verify whether the money reported to have been sent was the same amount received.
“This is therefore to direct all of you to submit the required bank statements by Wednesday November 13. Failure to do so will attract severe disciplinary action. I am copying this directive to the chairperson PAC, to take note and also request him to take other appropriate measures,” Mr Bigirimana wrote.
His directive was a follow up of an earlier instruction in which the Judiciary’s Chief Registrar wrote on July 10 directing all court registrars, chief magistrates and magistrates whose 35 court stations received the said funds for operations in the aforementioned financial years.
According to the letter, only 19 courts submitted their bank statements.
A source in the Judiciary, who declined to be named, said the money under query was meant for various activities such as stationery, travel, medical, furniture, court sessions and motor vehicle maintenance, among others.
Mr Bigirimana yesterday confirmed issuing the directive to all court stations and added that it was in fulfilment of the Parliament directive.