The hasty transfer of former Principal Accountant in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Geoffrey Kazinda was done suspiciously.
The Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi appearing before the Public accounts committee led by Terego county MP Kasiano explained that there were weaknesses in the OPM system.
Maxwell Akora PAC lead counsel asked Mbabazi what role he played in keeping Kazinda at the OPM when it was identified that he was the main player in the financial impropriety.
It is claimed that Mbabazi intervened when Pius Bigirimana wrote to the Accountant General Gustavo Bwoch indicating that Kazinda should be moved to the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development.
Mbabazi explained that when junior officers are normally transferred he is not aware. However, he received news of Kazinda’s transfer through a report he got that there was mismanagement of funds.
He narrated that he called Bwoch who came with four of his technical staff to his office.
Mbabazi explained that if someone has been responsible for billions of shillings he should be given enough time to account and handover to the next successor. Bwoch then replied that the problem had been identified by Bigirimana who had asked for Kazinda’s transfer.
He then called Bigirimana who explained that Kazinda was misusing money by paying for one activity with monies from other accounts. Bigirimana then wrote a letter dated 28th Feb 2012 directing Kazinda’s transfer and withdrawing his signature from all bank accounts with immediate effect.
Alice Alaso, the Serere woman MP, asked the Prime Minister if Uganda would have lost 50 billion shillings had he let Kazinda go with the assurance from the accountant General that he would be recalled to explain his actions when necessary.
The committee then put it to the Prime Minister as to why his ministers and junior officers are directly implementing government programmes in due disregard of the decentralisation policy. He responded that he is not aware of it and his docket is the entire government not just OPM, so the duty lies in the hands of the Minister for General Duties Sarah Kataike.
Betty Aol insisted it is the Prime Minister who presides over the PRDP monitoring committee meeting twice a year thus holding him responsible. Akora also observed that though he is a public servant he seems to take himself above the structures. He added that the committee was struggling to get the Prime Minister to own up his responsibilities and the failures that happened since he took over office.
He explained that they are looking at reforms on how to improve the function of evaluation and monitoring government work. The MP’s then quizzed him further on whether he is responsible for the political supervision, he stated that the MP’s should learn how to be civil since the way they behave gives one an idea of how they were brought up.
Buyaga County MP Barnabas Tinkasimire also asked whether it was cost cutting for all the 13 ministers in OPM to have a monthly imprest of 3.5 billion shillings and for the Prime Minister to drive a Benz worth 600 million shillings. Mbabazi also fired back by calling Tinkasimire ignorant adding that he also earns 25 million shillings and drives a government car.
Wadri then produced an internal memo from the OPM addressed to himself in which ministers were asking for the said money for office running and it was approved by Bigirimana. The committee continued to debate amidst threats by the Mbabazi to the chairman to control the MP’s or else he would do something by changing his colour.