MPs Indicted Over Failure to Account for Travel Funds

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In short
URN has established that the indicted MPs include; Army MP Elly Tumwine, Jinja East MP Moses Balyeku, Kajara County Stephen Tashobya, Mugabi Bakka, Robert Ssebunya Kibirige, Jane Ocheng, and Arua Municipality Gabriel Ajedra. They failed to account for funds ranging between Ugx 6 and Ugx 21 million.

Parliament has Indicted over ten Legislators from traveling abroad following their failure to account for funds advanced to them previously.

Through independent sources, URN has established that the indicted MPs include; Army MP Elly Tumwine,  Jinja East MP Moses Balyeku, Kajara County Stephen Tashobya,  Mugabi Bakka, Robert Ssebunya Kibirige,  Jane Ocheng, and Arua Municipality  Gabriel Ajedra. They failed to account for funds ranging between Ugx 6 and Ugx 21 million.

In a heated session of the Public accounts committee, members heard that a total of Ugx270m was advanced to different MPs and parliament officials for benchmarking activities.  But most of it remains unaccounted for, casting doubt on whether the legislators accomplished the objective of the undertakings.

Committee Chairperson, Alice Alaso together with the committee members agreed that MPs who had not refunded moneys and or given accountability should not be enlisted for any other trip. The committee also instructed the clerk to Parliament Jane Kibirige who was appearing before it to confiscate the MPs' gratuity in case their salaries are too little to effect the recovery.

//Cue in; "so we want that money…
Cue out…to be in our report." //
 
Alaso said, if Kibirige failed to recover the tax payers' money, she would be held personally responsible and would pay for the debt using her salary.

The legislators found the clerk culpable for failing to obtain copies of the passport pages bearing exit and entry immigration stamps of the countries where the officers traveled to and no air tickets showing flight itinerary, boarding passes, visa receipts, and electronic receipts. The clerk said she had previously written to the affected people but they had not responded.

Budadiri West MP Nandala Mafabi tasked the clerk to explain the measures put in place to ensure that officials sent abroad for trips stay for the designated number of days. He said many times the some MPs don't complete the days they are designated to travel and return immediately.

"What if they travel for one day, what action do you take? We need to find an internal mechanism of making these checks," Mafabi said.

 
//Cue in; (Luganda) "nga ffe…
Cue out… ssente zebakozesa"

 
Based on the concern, the committee ruled that people whose travel passes indicate a shortfall in the days budgeted for, should refund the money allocated to them.