Auditors had begun queries on a number of irregular cash withdrawals of above 10 billion shillings in the name of Bigirimana. There were queries on 823 million shillings advanced to staff. They also discovered the â€œKasiimo accountâ€ in Centenary Bank to which signatories, monies deposited and beneficiaries were all not known.
Internal Auditors sent to the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) say they were denied access to vital documents by the Permanent Secretary, Pius Bigirimana, thus failing their work.
Shaban Wejula, the former Principal Auditor at OPM told legislators on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that he received a letter from Bigirimana describing his requests as unprincipled inquiries.
The auditors, Wejula and Walter Okello, were on Friday appearing before PAC in the ongoing probe into financial impropriety in the OPM. According to the Auditor General’s special audit report released in October last year, over 14 billion shillings may have been lost in irregular transfers of money to private bank accounts of OPM staff.
In a letter dated April 19 2010, Bigirimana wrote to Wejula saying that the unprincipled inquiries could not continue the way they were being handled. He added that there was a lot of time wasted and they could cause unnecessary unrest and for this matter, he instructed all heads of departments not to give Wejula any document with immediate effect.
Bigirimana also ordered that no head of department would give Wejula any money for all his audit activities, considering he needed Bigirimana’s authorization to receive it.
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It should be remembered that last year when Bigirimana appeared before the committee, he mentioned that the Principal Accountant Geoffrey Kazinda had stolen the documents when he was being transferred.
Wejula and Okello had begun queries on a number of irregular cash withdrawals in the name of Bigirimana of above 10 billion shillings. These included irregular transfer of money from the Integrated Financial Management system Account to Bank of Uganda.
They also queried 823 million shillings advanced to Kiwanuka Christine, Elizabeth Alimadi, Wobuya Vincent and Kayima Godfrey.
However, Wejula’s problems and his transfer from OPM started when he discovered the Kasiimo account in Centenary Bank to which signatories, monies deposited and beneficiaries were all not known. Okello told the committee led by MP Paul Mwiru that this account raised a red flag but the auditors hit a dead end.
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It was revealed that while in camera Wejula also told the committee that he had earlier received threatening phone calls from unknown people telling him not to appear before the committee.
Bigirimana’s testimonies before the committee also accused Wejula of demanding for bribes from officials to which he denied today. The PS had also stated that Wejula was more of a fault finder and not cooperative, the reason he wrote to the Auditor General to have him removed.
MP Mwiru who represents Jinja Municipality East dismissed Bigirimana’s claims that he was the whistle blower in the fraud case and not Wejula.
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PAC is expected to complete its investigations within two weeks. Next week the committee is expected to be the climax of the probe with the appearance of Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, Karamoja Minister Janet Museveni, and Centenary Bank, New Caltex Ntinda and Firm Engineering Company limited officials.
Committee members will then set off to the field to establish if the monies sent to OPM actually did what they were meant to do.