Mutebile, Muhakanizi on the spot over missing Shs340 billion meant for poor Ugandans’ drugs

Mutebile, Muhakanizi on the spot over missing Shs340 billion meant for poor Ugandans’ drugs
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Two of the most prominent Banyakigezi – Bank of Uganda Governor Tumusiime Mutebile, secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi and other top officials in the Finance hierarchy are set to answer questions over how Shs340 billion of Shs720b ($200m) loan meant for medicines and rural electrification was used.

They are going to be quizzed by Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) with the vice chairman Gerald Karuhanga saying that Muhakanizi, Mutebile, Auditor General John Muwanga and Mr. Lawrence Semakula, the acting Accountant General have been summoned to appear before MPs on Wednesdays to  “explain the whereabouts of the money because no agency has received anything.”

Mr. Muhakanizi called the probe ‘misdirected’ because ‘everything was done properly and I will prove that with documents.’

He said the money was pooled into the consolidated Fund and spent on approved expenditures.

Parliament’s inquiry follows declarations by Mr Moses Kamabare, the National Medical Stores general manager, that no medicine and other medical equipment would be provided to health centre III and IV unless the more than Shs41b deficit in the NMS budget is cured.

The government in August 2016 secured a $83.5M (Shs292 billion) loan from the Eastern and Southern Africa Trade eand Development Bank, an institution in Africa commonly called PTA Bank, to clear a funding gap in NMS, Rural Electrification Agencies and Works ministry transactions. The money, according to preliminary information, was never disbursed to the end-user government ministries, departments and agencies.

Bank of Uganda’s Communications director, Christine Alupo said Mutebile and the central bank will honour PAC’s invitation while Ministry of Finance’s Budget director said the MPs planning an inquiry are ‘idle’, and wonder whether they just wanted to enjoy foreign travels, Daily Monitor said.

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