IGG probes misuse of Shs700m PDM funds

The new Inspector General of Government, Ms Beti Kamya. PHOTO/DAVID LUBOWA

What you need to know:

  •  It is alleged that officials spent the funds on mobilising for stakeholder training and rallying communities to embrace PDM instead of disbursing the funds to different group accounts.

The Inspector General of Government (IGG) has launched investigations into the alleged misuse of Shs700m funds meant for Parish Development Model (PDM) in Kitgum District.

 It is alleged that officials spent the funds on mobilising for stakeholder training and rallying communities to embrace PDM instead of disbursing the funds to different group accounts.

 Mr Nicholas Kajura, the IGG head of Gulu regional office, said they want to establish circumstances under which the district officials used more than 80 percent of the money they received for PDM on administration activities contrary to what the guideline stipulates.

 “We received a complaint that more than Shs702 million was mismanaged by officials of Kitgum District under PDM. Such a huge amount of money was used in mobilisation, enterprise development and education, which are administrative activities,” Mr Kajura said.

 “According to the guideline from the Ministry of Finance, they are not supposed to have spent beyond Shs56 million. So as Inspectorate of Government, we have taken interest to investigate the matter thoroughly and reach a conclusion,” he said.

The Monitor has learnt that government last month released Shs745m of Shs1.2b the district is allocated under PDM.

 Mr William Komakech, the Kitgum RDC, told the Monitor that there were irregularities with allocation of money, adding that internal investigations are also ongoing.

 “I expected the district technical staff to revise the budget line but they instead drew their own guidelines and spent more than half of the Shs745 million on training and allowances,” Mr Komakech said.

 According to the district workplan, Shs208m was distributed into the accounts of 19 sub-counties and was meant to facilitate the sensitisation of stakeholders, including the in-charge of health centres, centre head teachers, health assistants, office centre stations, NRM chairpersons, women, youth, and elderly council executives and sub-county chairpersons.

Mr Komakech said another Shs33m was distributed to the sub-counties for training technical staff, meaning that money distributed to the sub-counties was Shs240m for training instead of projects and enterprise development.

 “The guidelines stipulated that each district spends only Shs92m in trainings and sensitisation yet Kitgum spent Shs292.6m, an excess of Shs200 million. The only money that was correctly spent was on recruitment and for parish Sacco, Shs52.5 million.

“I have ordered for an investigation and also the money must be recovered because this is a revolving funds meant to be utilised in a specific way and can’t be changed as one wishes,” he said.

Ms Margaret Lamwaka Odwar, the Chua East MP, said many projects have failed due to mismanagement of funds and no arrests have been done.

 “In our meeting on Thursday we agreed that the total amount used wrongly is Shs396.9m and the technocrats are solely responsible and they think they can get away with it like they did with Emooya, Youth Livelihood Funds, among others,” Ms Lamwaka said.

 Mr Alex Opira, the district principal commercial officer, who also doubles as the PDM focal point person, declined to comment on the allegation.

 “I am not the district spokesperson and I can’t say anything in regards to that money. It is the chief accounting officer to talk on behalf of the district,” he said.

 Repeated attempts to speak to Mr Joel Musisi, the Kitgum CAO, to seek his comments of the allegations were futile by press time as he could not answer his calls.

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