IGG probes Shs9b agricultural schools scam
The Government Inspectorate is investigating a case involving anonymous government officials who transferred taxpayer money worth Shs9b to two agricultural institutions closed during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The funds in question were sent to the Entebbe Fisheries Training Institute and the Bukalasa Agricultural College in Wobulenzi, Luweero District, to cover student food expenses and other development projects. infrastructure.
After reading the Daily Monitor scoop yesterday, the Inspector General of the Government (IGG), Ms. Beti Kamya, called this newspaper to confirm investigations into disbursements, and revealed that disbursements qualified by a whistleblower as “sham expenses “were reported to his office. She did not disclose when the matter was reported to the IGG.
âThis is an issue that we are already investigatingâ¦ we have received confidential documents from a whistleblower and we are investigating them before taking the next step,â Ms. Kamya said.
âWe intend to do nothing with regard to this matter. We want to know how the closed schools received public funds during the lockdown. Who budgeted for the money? Who received it and for what? The plan is to gather as much information as possible, connect the dots and ask the tough questions about the release of the funds in question. “
Ms Kamya told Saturday Monitor that at the end of the investigations, the suspects she did not name will be summoned to explain the motivation for sending billions of shillings to closed institutions.
Ms. Kamya also revealed that officials from the Entebbe Fisheries Training Institute and Bukalasa Wobulenzi Agricultural College would be asked to record statements.
âWe don’t have all the information yet, but it looks like a racket. We will unearth the truth and once we have the evidence the culprits will be arrested and brought to justice in the anti-corruption court, âMs. Kamya said.
âOur anti-corruption strategy is very clear. We want to kill two birds with one stone: clean up the inspection as we deal with the backlog and emerging cases like the one involving Shs9b at the Ministry of Agriculture. We want the corrupt to pay back public funds and we will use the law to confiscate ill-gotten wealth. This is what will restore public confidence, improve service delivery and energize the war on corruption. “
Ms. Kamya called on citizens to join the fight against corruption in private and public offices, and asked officials in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) who may know of other government institutions being used as conduits to siphon off money. public funds, to provide information.
In response to the Daily Monitor’s investigation, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Major General David Kasura-Kyomukama, explained: âThe ministry is not aware of any reported cases of embezzlement. However, since the emergence of the story, management has tasked the relevant offices to look into the matter. “
He added: âWe remain committed to upholding the highest standards of accountability for public resources and punishing those found guilty of misappropriating them. We therefore call on the public to report any suspected abuse of public resources to the competent authorities, both within the ministry and other statutory bodies responsible for doing so. “
Daily Monitor Inquiry
The document reported that Shs83m, Shs80m, Shs73.4m, Shs82m and Shs8.4m were transferred to the accounts of the Fisheries Training Institute on December 4, 2020, for examination of the Diploma in Shipbuilding and Marine Mechanics, Diploma in fisheries management and technology, certificate in agriculture and diploma in agriculture, animal industry and fishing courses.
At Bukalasa Agricultural College, Shs40m was sent in three installments on May 10 for industrial trainings, and a day later, Shs96m was disbursed to purchase stationery and educational materials alongside Shs240m to ‘renovate farms’. breeding “.
On March 10, the authorities transferred Shs380m for “payment of student food bills” and supplemented it on the same day with Shs141m for the perimeter fencing work of the Institute of Fisheries, refills and painting of conference rooms and blocks.
In addition, Shs159m was allocated on March 10 for “repair of the main gate and upgrading of the asphalt campus walkways, another Shs158m was disbursed on the same day for the repair of sewer and drainage systems, and Shs140m and Shs63m for reinforcement and gabion surface. water drainage and for the aquaculture unit and the hatchery, respectively.