Uganda: Eye-Brows Raised As Musenero Struggles to Present Covid-19 Accountability

Uganda: Eye-Brows Raised As Musenero Struggles to Present Covid-19 Accountability

The Minister of Science, Know-how and Innovation, Dr. Monica Musenero struggled to supply accountability paperwork to Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (Central Governments)

Musenero alongside the State Home Comptroller, Jane Barekye on Tuesday, 14 March 2023 appeared earlier than the committee that’s contemplating the Auditor Normal’s forensic investigation report into Covid-19 funds obtained and expended by the Ministry of Science, Know-how, and Innovation (MoSTI) throughout monetary years 2019/2020 and 2020/2021.

The forensic investigation was knowledgeable by a decision of Parliament on a report of the Parliamentary Taskforce on the Nationwide Covid-19 response which requested the Auditor Normal to analyze Covid-19 funds.

The primary goal of the forensic investigation was to determine whether or not all Covid-19 associated spending was utilized appropriately below current legal guidelines, insurance policies and tips, whether or not there was any loss in expenditure and make clear accountable officers and make suggestions for higher use of Covid-19related funds.

In his report, the Auditor Normal stated that his findings are particular to the procurement of the tools, the disbursement of Covid-19 funds by the ministry and the utilization of the operational funds by the scientists authorized by the Presidential Scientific Initiative on Epidemics (PRESIDE).

PRESIDE was a presidential initiative chaired by Musenero, who was then a Senior Presidential Advisor on Epidemics.

The Auditor Normal reported that whereas conducting his investigations, Musenero failed to supply accountability paperwork like proof of submission of accountability by PRESIDE by MoSTI, authorized adjusted budgets for the lab animal home venture, PRESIDE follow-up on the uninstalled tools for scientists and file relating to standing of kit.

“Hon. Monica Musenero didn’t present the paperwork listed under whose existence she had disclosed throughout her interview with me on 05 July 2022. I couldn’t make the conclusions I might have made; had I obtained and reviewed the paperwork from PRESIDE,” the Auditor Normal reported.

Tasked by the Committee Chairperson, Hon. Medard Sseggona to clarify why the listed paperwork had not been availed to the Auditor Normal, Musenero stated that she didn’t give the paperwork as a result of she had not understood what was being requested for.

Additional queried, the Minister modified her assertion and indicated that the ministry was in transition and that on the time of the interview, all paperwork had earlier been taken away by the Auditor Normal.

She additionally informed the committee that it was presumably an omission to not avail the paperwork.

“We handed them to the Auditor Normal after they got here the primary time. We had them submitted to him earlier than. The accountabilities are all in State Home and I gave all of them to the auditor Normal,” she stated.

Hon. Eddie Kwizera flashes one of many paperwork from PRESIDE. One his left is Hon. Nandala Mafabi

Budadiri West MP, Hon. Nathan Nandala Mafabi stated that it was the accountability of the minister to account for the cash availed for various scientific investigations.

Nandala Mafabi knowledgeable Musenero that the failure to avail paperwork to the Auditor Normal attracts a 12 yr jail time period below the regulation.

Sseggona gave the minister as much as 17 March 2023 to avail the paperwork below inquiry.

“Whenever you return, dig deeper for accountability-related paperwork as a result of that’s what the Auditor Normal was asking for. A funds allocation which you will have offered was not a problem right here, however as soon as you’re allotted budgets, you then account,” he stated.

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