The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has accused the former vice president Dr Specioza Wandira Kazibwe chairperson of taking part in the mismanagement of over 10 billion shillings meant for market vendors.
Kazibwe, who until 2011 was the chairperson of the Micro-finance Support Centre, is accused of illegally involving its Board in decisions that led to the loss of the money.
Kazibwe was reportedly among those who attended a meeting which decided that the Presidential initiative money meant for market vendors and small income earners be given to supporters of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).
Kazibwe told the committee that she called a board meeting in which she stated that Parliament had passed a vote to support the small income earners and the Ministry of Finance was finding out their capacity to distribute the money.
The board in its resolution then explained how they relate to funds that don’t normally come through the usual channels and asked for a Memorandum of Understanding. They then directed the Executive Director of the Micro-finance Support Centre, Ignatius Musaali Rwabukuku, to communicate their decision to Chris Kassami, the then Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance.
However, when pinned further, Kazibwe was not sure if the MOU was even sent since it would reveal who should be held accountable for the loss of the money. It had been resolved in the December 1st 2010 meeting in which Kazibwe was in attendance that the programme had both an economic motive and political impact. The former VP said it was meant to generate a critical mass of supporters for the ruling National Resistance Movement in the process of empowering the market vendors.
The committee also questioned whether the Board undertook to account for the money given to them. Kazibwe stated that they can only account for money if the Board holds its annual general meeting which did not happen. The Board did not have an opportunity to account for the entire fund they got that financial year because its office period had expired and they requestaed to extend their period.
However, earlier Winnie Twine, the deputy presidential advisor on market affairs, had told the committee that during the December 2010 meeting, when she tried to speak on behalf of the actual beneficiaries, Kazibwe told her to shut up.