The Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Agriculture Pius Wakabi Kasajja on Wednesday failed to justify an expenditure of 2.7 billion Shillings on arrears that had not been budgeted without prior approval from authorities.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Pius Wakabi
Kasajja has failed to justify an expenditure of 2.7 billion Shillings on
arrears that had not been budgeted without prior approval from authorities.
Wakabi and other officials were on Monday appearing before Parliament’s Public
Accounts Committee (PAC) chaired by Budadiri West MP Nathan Nandala Mafabi to
answer to audit queries raised by Auditor General John Muwanga in his report
for June 2018.
In the report, Muwanga queried the under-budgeting for domestic arrears by the
Ministry citing that only 387 million shillings had been budgeted in the
financial year 2017/2018 yet the ministry had 27.3 billion domestic arrears at
Before the Agriculture Ministry officials could give an explanation for failure
to adequately budget for financial liabilities as required by the Public
Finance Management Act, 2015, Nandala noted that his committee had unearthed an
expenditure of 2.7 billion shillings on arrears contrary to the approved 387
“I don’t know how the Auditor General did not see this expenditure. Your budget
for arrears was 387 million and you spent 2.7 billion. When did you become
parliament and Ministry of Finance to appropriate this money?” Nandala asked.
Nandala demanded an explanation from Wakabi for the discharge of funds. With no
clear explanation, Wakabi apologized for the discharge of expenditure saying
that his ministry wanted to minimize on the burden of arrears.
//Cue in: “we gave you...
Cue out:...on this burden.”//
Wakabi’s explanation was dismissed by a section of MPs sitting on PAC. Ishaka
Municipality MP Gordon Alinda and Tororo South MP Fredrick Angura demanded to
know whether the Permanent Secretary sought permission from the Secretary to
Treasury to discharge funds.
//Cue in: “financial management Act...
Cue out:...divert the money.”//
Wakabi said that he had written to the Finance Ministry for authority before
the expenditure but never received response on the matter.
About the activities that the ministry suffocated to carry out the discharge,
Wakabi said that the money was picked from mainly travel abroad activities
requesting that the committee gives him time to give a detailed account for
where the money was picked and expanded.
Section 16 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2015 requires an Accounting
Officer to request the Minister of Finance for approval to vary, within a vote,
the amount of money allocated to the vote.
It requires the request for reallocation of funds to identify the items on
which the relocation is to be charged and give reasons for charging those
items, show the amount of the funds to be varied and give reasons for the
relocation, and identify the items for which the varied funds are to be used.
Nandala told Wakabi that his actions were inconsistent with the
law and that sanctions were to be recommended against him.