The National Resistance Movement (NRM) Parliamentary Caucus has today exonerated former Vice President Specioza Wandira Kazibwe and others for causing loss to government under the Presidential Initiative on market vendors and other small business operators.
The NRM parliamentary caucus has exonerated Dr Specioza Wandira Kazibwe, the former Vice president, General Salim Saleh and three others implicated for causing government a loss under the Presidential Initiative on market vendors and other small business operators.
The others are former finance minister Syda Bbumba, outgoing Fisheries Minister Ruth Nankabirwa and Moses Byaruhanga, the Senior Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs. The decision by the caucus to exonerate the officials follows a report issued by the Public Accounts Committee last week implicating the officials for the mismanagement of shillings 10billion under the Presidential Initiative on market vendors and other small business operators.
In 2011, Parliament approved a supplementary budget of 10billion Shillings under the Presidential Initiative on market vendors and other small business operators to create a revolving fund through, which small businesses would access working capital. According to the PAC, report Syda Bbumba, the then finance minister disbursed the money to the Micro-finance support Centre Ltd-MSCL four days to the 2011 polls.
The committee noted that, the shillings 10billion supplementary budget was irregularly initiated as there was no proof of requisition by the responsible department or accounting officer.
The committee noted that Bbumba made the submission for the supplementary budget in disregard of the relevant legal provisions and recommended that she is held accountable. This morning, the NRM caucus chaired by its deputy chair David Bahati convened in the new President\'s Office between 11am and 3pm to chat away forward.
A source that declined to be named so as to speak freely on the mater says the caucus resolved to absolve Bumba saying she used the proper procedures to access the supplementary budget. According to the source, the caucus also exonerated former Vice President Specioza wadira Kazibwe after one MP informed members that she was cleared by the Inspectorate of Government for no wrong doing in the project.
The source also notes that, the caucus resolved that both Bbumba and Nankabirwa explain themselves on the floor of Parliament when debate on the report starts this week. The Caucus also exonerated President Museveni\'s Brother General Salim Saleh who was accused of influencing peddling, when he reportedly directed Assistant Commissioner Microfinance Henry Mbaguta to handle a list of beneficiaries who included Jinja and Arua District Women and Youth League Leaders.
The Caucus argued that General Saleh only gave advice to the official, which he was free to accept or reject. Efforts by our reporter to get an official comment from David Bahati, the Deputy NRM caucus chairperson were futile as he would neither pick nor return our calls.