The Speaker of Parliament has instructed the Auditor General to commence an audit into the misappropriated funds totalling Shs.720 billion from the Trade and Development Bank, (PTA) by officials from the Ministry of Finance.
Members of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) after probing the matter, recommended in their report for Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija to be censured immediately for lying to Parliament to acquire a loan that was diverted to other expenditures.
The contentious loan was meant to support the National Medical Stores (NMS) to purchase more drugs and boost the operations of the Rural Electricity Agency (REA).
The two agencies however, told PAC that they never received the money.
The Minister of Finance was accorded an opportunity to present his defence before Parliament before could take a decision, but he kept skipping the sessions, telling the speaker that he wasn’t ready.
When the Speaker couldn’t take any more excuses, she decided to open up the debate on the committee report without receiving any presentation from the Minister.
Several members that took to the floor argued that it would be proper for Parliament to seek for the services of the Auditor General to find out how the funds were withdrawn from the National coffers, how they were spent and who spent it.
Kadaga promised that she would rule on the matter today after revisiting the language that was used by the Ministry while convincing MPs to pass the loan in the 9th Parliament.
“In order to ascertain and find out the utilization if the loan, let’s wait for the Auditor General to carry out a special audit of this loan, this will guide the house in debating the report of the committee as prepared,” Kadaga said.
“I therefore direct the Auditor General to start out a special audit in the utilization of and performance of US $200M loan from Parliament acquired from PTA Bank, and to submit the report to my office by 20th February 2018. We will then consider the PAC report and make resolutions.”