Parliament clerks on spot for shs100M public money theft

The Inspector General of Government (IGG), Irene Mulyagonja, has ordered the Parliament Director of Clerks, Emmanuel Bakwega and Deputy Clerk, Parliamentary Affairs, Paul Wabwire to refund over sh100m that they reportedly received, but are said to have accounted for fraudulently, or face prosecution.

Mulyagonja accuses Bakwega and Wabwire of pocketing sh48.139m and sh51m, respectively, that was meant for a seminar in the United Kingdom that they are said not to have attended but instead forged accountability for the money.

The directive that explicitly wants the duo to refund the funds on the Inspectorate of Government Asset Recovery Account Number 003030088000007 in Bank of Uganda within three months is contained in a letter to the Clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige, dated August 8, 2019.

“Bakwega and Wabwire were advanced a total of sh99.235m to attend a seminar, “Beyond aid: Innovative Governance, Financing, and Partnership for post-2015 agenda”, at Wilton Park on June 2016. However, the duo failed to produce evidence of attending the said seminar,” says Mulyagonja.

She adds that information obtained from Wilton Park through the British High Commission indicates that the seminar actually took place in February 2015 and not June 2016 as the accused had claimed in their defense.

Wilton Park also denied issuing invitation letters, invoices, and receipts that Bakwega and Wabwire submitted as part of their accountability documents.

“The investigation concludes that the sum of sh99.235m advanced to the two officials was not used for the intended purpose and was misappropriated. Additionally, there is no documentary evidence to show Bakwega attended the 3rd EALA meeting in Kigali-Rwanda in 2015, although Kenneth Madete the Clerk to EALA, on the contrary, confirmed that he attended that meeting,” said Mulyagonja.

According to NEW VISION a source at Parliament revealed that Bakwega wanted to use accountability for the said 3rd EALA meeting in Kigali-Rwanda in 2015 to justify the expenditure for the sh48.139m, but, unfortunately, “he travelled by road, instead of air yet he had indicated that he would use a plane.”

Mulyagonja also wants Bakwega and Wabwire to face the Parliamentary Commission for appropriate disciplinary action within a period of two months from receipt of the letter.

When contacted, Bakwega said he could not comment on a matter that he is not yet aware of while Wabwire said he was too busy to make a response. Parliament Director of Communication and Public Affairs Chris Obore declined to comment on grounds that the letter was written to the Clerk to Parliament.