PAC orders prime minister to produce accounting officers over Karamoja iron sheets

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The parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has asked the Office of the Prime Minister to bring former accounting officers to respond to the audit queries regarding the procurement of the Karamoja iron sheets and the goats which turned into a scandal.

The audit involves accounting for over 60bn in the two scandals.

The 2022/23 auditor general's report indicates that the accounting officers at the office of the prime minister ought to answer.

Appearing before the committee of public accounts, the MPs asked accounting officer Dunstan Balaba whether he is eligible to answer controversial queries that took place before he was appointed.

And while he could not commit to answer, he had not brought with himself the former accounting officer Geoffrey Sseremba who was interdicted over funds of the Karamoja peace building activities. The committee has now tasked them to come along with those who were the office bears.

"We are giving you Chance to bring the accounting officer interdicted, Geoffrey Seremba to answer. Let it be taken seriously," Muwanga Kivumbi, MP for Butambala and PAC chairperson, said.

Key queries in the scandals at the office the prime minister has consistently come up and to date several ministers under the docket of the prime ministers are being tried on in the courts of law over misuse, diversion and conspiracy to steal public resources.

Critical queries to be answered in their appearance include the Shs39bn scandal for procurement and distribution of iron sheets.

By the time of the audit accountability for activities amounting to Shs6.8bn were still before the IGG pending investigation.

PAC is also interested in prying open the Shs24.2bn used in the procurement and distribution of goats whose breed could not survive the local weather conditions.

Of all recipients of goats, the auditors could not trace 31 beneficiaries of the goats.

Other key queries include management of Akasiimo. The audit seeks to find out how 30bn was earmarked to persons who contributed to the liberation war efforts.

Each of the historicals of NRC was entitled to Shs10 million, and Shs5 million for each of the bush leaders while selected civilians were billed at Shs1.5m.

The accounting officers are asked to pronounce why about Shs7.6bn had not yet been remitted.

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