The former Accounting Officer for Uganda’s Juba Mission Habib Migadde has failed to account for funds amounting to 216.2 billion shillings.
Migadde was appearing before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee chaired by Serere Woman MP Alice Alaso that invited him to give responses to audit queries pointing specifically to him while he was still serving as the accounting officer in the Juba Mission.
The Auditor General raised audit queries connected to Migadde as the accounting officer in three financial year reports namely the year ended June 2009, June 2010 and June 2011. Migadde Habib served at the Juba mission from 2007 to 2011.
In the three years eleven outstanding accountability queries were raised and nine of them amount to 216 billion shillings while the two are yet to be harmonized by the Committee and the Office of the Auditor General.
The queries raised were about unexplained cash shortage, unspent balances, large cash withdrawal unaccounted for, unexplained deposit, foreign exchange loss unaccounted for, Non Tax Revenue (NTR), Un-disclosed project balances, un-supported expenditure and others.
Under the cash withdrawals unaccounted for, the Auditor General in his report for the year ended June 2010 queried that the mission made large cash withdrawals totaling to 1.1billion shillings in two installments one being 293m shillings withdrawal and another 812m shillings withdrawal.
The auditor general further queried that although the 812m shillings was refunded, he was not provided with justifiable explanation for making such large cash withdrawals and that besides the 293m shillings was not accounted for by the time of inspection.
All through the meeting proceedings, Migadde continued to express no knowledge of the queries saying that a long time had passed and that he had received the committee invite late the previous day and therefore needed ample time to explain himself.
He also noted that he had no back ground in accounting although he was at the time the accounting officer but rather a social scientist with knowledge in reproductive health and peace studies.
However the committee lead counsel Jacob Opolot representing Pallisa County insisted that Migadde accepted the role of accounting officer and attempted to perform it and therefore had to give answers to the committee.
Migadde then attempted to give a response saying that as far as he knew, he accounted for all the funds and that he had the required documents necessary to prove provided he is given time.
He requested the committee for a number of days to provide evidence before the committee report is provided.
Meanwhile, the committee last year paid a visit to the Ugandan Juba mission regarding the queries and the current officials noted that accountability related to these queries was not available in the mission’s records as the clerk to the committee revealed in today’s committee sitting.
PAC chairperson Alice Alaso gave Migadde up to Monday next week to furnish the committee with all the evidence in line with the audit queries before the committee makes its final report and recommendations.