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PAC Wants Former VP Kazibwe Prosecuted Over Market Cash

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Alice Alaso, the PAC committee chairperson says the committee noted that the entire initiative was ill conceived.
Former Vice President Specioza Wandira Kazibwe

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The Public Accounts Committee wants former Vice President Specioza Wandira Kazibwe and others prosecuted for causing loss to government under the Presidential Initiative on market vendors and other small business operators. The others are Senior Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Moses Byaruhanga, former Finance Minister Syda Bbumba and outgoing Fisheries Minister Ruth Nankabirwa.

In 2011, Parliament approved a supplementary 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. Upon approval, the finance minister Syda Bbumba disbursed the money to the Micro-finance support Centre Ltd-MSCL four days to the 2011 polls.

It later emerged that the money had been abused, prompting parliament to call for investigations. The Public Accounts Committee investigated the number and on Tuesday presented a report to parliament implicating former Vice President Specioza Wandira Kazibwe, Senior Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Moses Byaruhanga, former Finance Minister Syda Bbumba and outgoing Fisheries Minister Ruth Nankabirwa.

In its report, PAC observes that the 10billion Shillings supplementary budget was irregularly initiated as there was no proof of requisition by the responsible department or accounting officer. The committee notes that Syda Bbumba, the former finance minister made a submission for the supplementary budget in disregard of the relevant legal provisions and wants her held accountable.

It also recommends that Syda Bbumba and outgoing fisheries Minister Ruth Nankabirwa be held responsible for abuse of office, influencing diversion of public funds and subsequently leading to financial loss. It is further recommended that the duo be investigated by the IGG for violation of the Leadership code and that Minister Ruth Nankabirwa be relieved of her appointment as Minister.

The report faults Kazibwe for usurping the technical role of the MSCL management when she advised the Finance ministry that, the center was prepared to handle the money whereas it was not. Alice Alaso, the PAC committee chairperson says the committee noted that the entire initiative was ill conceived.

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Jacob Oulanyah, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament has deferred debate on the report to Thursday this week to give MPs sufficient time to digest it.