Legislators have lashed out at the Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury in the Ministry of Finance, Keith Muhakanizi, accusing him of intimidating Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) over the inquiry into the mismanagement of Shs700 billion loan.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, 20th February 2018, the members of PAC said that no amount of intimidation would deter them from performing their legitimate duty of scrutinizing expenditure of public funds.
“Ministry of Finance should appreciate that it is the constitutional right of Parliament to oversee expenditure of public funds. No amount of sideshows, blackmail or diversion shall derail us from delivering on such important public trust,” said Hon. Angelline Osegge, the chairperson of the accountability Committee.
Hon. Mbwatekwamwa Gaffa, advised PAC members who can no longer bear pressure from the Finance Ministry to request for re-allocation to other committees.
Legislators are concerned that Muhakanizi might also interfere with the ongoing investigations by the Auditor General, citing his earlier request to be investigated by the Auditor General instead of Parliament.
“Muhakanizi wouldn’t be ashamed to threaten the Auditor General in the same way he did to PAC members,” Osegge added.
Hon. Gerald Karuhanga, the Vice Chairperson of PAC reiterated that “the Auditor General has got to be as professional as he can, otherwise I hope no amount of pressure will distract his career.”
Karuhanga added that even if the Auditor General is compromised, Ugandans now know how taxpayers’ money was utilized.
Parliament is expected to discuss the Auditor General’s report on the said loan when the House resumes its sittings.