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Local Gov’t Accounts Committee Unearths Rot in Management of Road Funds

The committee chaired by Judith Franca Akello, the Woman Member of Parliament for Agago district has in its findings revealed that the program is suffering from gross corruption tendencies and misuse of public resources perpetrated by accounting officers and engineers in local governments.
Judith Franca Akello, PAC Local Gov'ts Chairperson, chairing a session in Masaka district

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Members on the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee on Local Governments have unearthed corruption tendencies in the management of road funds.

In 2010, through an Act of Parliament, government established the Uganda Road Fund-URF to operate as a Second Generation fund to cater for routine and periodic maintenance of public roads in the country from mainly reserved road user charges.     

However, the committee chaired by Judith Franca Akello, the Woman Member of Parliament for Agago district has in its findings revealed that the program is suffering from gross corruption tendencies and misuse of public resources perpetrated by accounting officers and engineers in local governments.   

The committee is currently in Masaka region, reviewing accountability queries raised in the Auditor General in his 2017/18 financial year report on local governments and public entities. 

Akello indicated that systems manipulation and syndicate embezzlement of public funds have been found to be crosscutting problems.

She says that the committee has learnt of widespread habit of connivance between the local government accounting officers and engineers to deliberately exclude manual routine and periodic roads maintenance in their work plans in preference of mechanized works under which they falsify and often inflate expenditures for works. 

//Cue in: “for instance someone…..

Cue out; …..easier to manipulate.”// 

Daniel Muheirwe, the member of the committee says that they will recommend to the Ministry of Finance and the Uganda Road Fund directorate to put up more stringent measures in the management of funds sent to local governments.

However, Daston Mukasa Yiga, the Gomba district Chief Administrative Officer and Herbert Mutyaba Kaggwa, the Principal District Engineer who faced the same committee explained that they are finding it hard to source for people who are willing to undertake manual roads maintenance works as Road Gangs as required under the Road Fund Act.