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Officials from the Uganda police have failed to explain the whereabouts of Shs42.9 billion meant for buying specialised vehicles to monitor the 2016 General Election.

Uganda Police Force vehicles

The officials led by the undersecretary, Mr Rogers Muhairwe, were yesterday appearing before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament to answer queries raised by the Auditor General (AG), Mr John Muwanga, for the financial year ending June 2016. Both Inspector General of Police Martins Okoth-Ochola and his deputy, Brig Sabiiti Muzeyi, were a no-show.
The report also established that whereas Shs41.76b had been requested by the police, the Treasury released Shs42.93b.

Original plan
The police had planned for a 30 per cent payment for 113 operational vehicles and 40 per cent specialised vehicles to police the 2016 elections under a four-year financing facility with effect from Financial Year 2014/2015.

However, the AG noted that, “all funds were received [but] operating vehicles were not procured.”

Parliament also tasked the police to explain Shs1.17b that was received in excess of the budget as well as an inventory of the purchased vehicles, location and log books in vain.

In a related development, the officials failed to explain how the Force accumulated utility arrears amounting to Shs27.34 billion in the same financial year.

In his report, Mr Muwanga highlighted that “payables increased by a 66 per cent from Shs16.45b for 2014/2015 to Shs27.34b for 2015/2016”.

He added: “The most affected was electricity, with a closing balance of Shs17.7b.

Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga accused the police of “rearing the utility bills as some healthy cow for a certain herdsman somewhere for his milk,” and wondered why the institution does not resort to solar.
In response, the officers said the arrears mainly for electricity were caused by “some form of abuse” by its officers, mainly in the barracks.
As a stopgap measure, Mr Godfrey Bangirana, the Police Director for Engineering and Logistics, said they are currently installing prepaid meters in police facilities to cut the abuse.

The police further failed to justify expenditure of Shs21.98b spent on training.

The AG indicated that he failed to ascertain whether the money “was appropriately spent and properly unaccounted for”.
“The training needs assessment report is not signed and acknowledged by the IGP whom it was addressed to,” Mr Muwanga said.

Mr Muhairwe, however, said the training was done after prior assessment and 250 officers were passed in disciplinary court procedure.

The committee chairperson, Ms Angeline Osegge, told the accounting officer to prepare to pay back the money lest he produces tangible evidence related to the expenditure.

The Monitor 

UM– USEKE.RW

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