Former Station Manager Faulted for Borrowing Fuel Without UNRA Authority

The UNRA probe commission has spotted illegalities and mismanagement of resources in the procurement of fuel at the Mbarara UNRA station.

Appearing as a witness, health the former manager at the Mbarara station, case Mr. Asaph Abeneitwe told the commission that the station often took fuel on credit because the card holder was not always conveniently available.

He claimed that it wasn’t practical for an order to be made for each time that necessitated fuel consumption. The commission however faulted Mr. Abeneitwe who is currently the Acting Regional Manager Southern for committing UNRA by borrowing fuel which was more than that allocated.

Commissioner Abraham Nkata tasked the witness to explain whether he has written approval by the UNRA Executive Director to do so.

“As a station manager, I was delegated the Accounting Officer’s powers to a certain point” said Mr. Abeneitwe. “Consuming the fuel on credit was an arrangement between the station and the service provider based on our confidence that we had more allocation the following month.”

However, Nkata insisted to stress that the then station manager misused government funds without following the stipulated channels. “Your decission to commit UNRA to such big credit transactions was irregular and illegal. Delegation of procurement authority is catered for in the law, and thus your actions outside the procurement guidelines were illegal” stated Commissioner Nkata.

The witness went ahead to argue that the Mbarara station had too much work load compared to other UNRA stations and thus getting equal fuel allocations as the others wasn’t realistic.

“Mbarara station triples or even quadruples most of the stations in the country. The fuel given to us was always disapropriate.”


The other issue that raised concern was the fact that Mbarara station often drew fuel at once and hoarded it in advance. The witness said this was done to avoid losing their balance since fuel given by Shell was given for a particular month.

“We did this to avoid the inconveniencing long appeal process that was required to recover a balance” the witness said. According to the figures provided to the commission by Shell Uganda, staff at Mbarara station drew fuel as much as 9,000 litres in a single day.

In Mr. Abeneitwe’s breakdown of fuel consumption however, these ‘abnormal’ transactions were not reflected. It showed daily fuel withdraws in a range of 10 to 50 litres. In his recommendations to the commission, Mr. Abeneitwe proposed that UNRA provides proportionate fuel to its stations.

He admitted that his management failed to put measures to control fuel consumption but claimed that circumstances often forced him to improvise certain actions.

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