Legislators sitting on the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament have tasked officials from the Ministry of Trade, Industries and Cooperatives to explain why they have not prioritised compensation of the claimants of the defunct cooperative unions.
Appearing before the committee, officials from the ministry surprised legislators after they disclosed that some of the unverified cooperatives unions have already received part of the payments.
Led by the permanent secretary Grace Adong, the officials had appeared before PAC to defend the queries that had been raised in the Auditor General’s report for the year 2017/2018.
Adong disclosed the seven defunct cooperative unions have so far been verified and soon claimants will receive their compensation.
The verified cooperative unions include: Bunyoro Cooperative Union limited, Masaka Cooperative Union, Teso Cooperative union, Busoga growers union, North Bukedi, Masaba Cooperative union and Lango Cooperative Union.
But to the dismay of the legislators, it was discovered that some of the defunct cooperative unions received part of the payment even before being verified by the ministry of Trade.
This generated a serious debate in the committee.
Some of the cooperative unions that received compensation before verification are: Banyankole Kweterana Cooperative union that received Shs 3bn shillings, Shs 458 million was paid to Kigezi Growers Cooperative union, Shs 196m was paid to West Acholi Cooperative union, Shs 1bn was paid to East Acholi Cooperative union and Shs 198m was paid to Nyakatonzi Growers Cooperative Union.
The officials also faced the wrath of legislators on the 39.8 million shillings that was advanced to the political Assistants and security guards to the ministers in an irregular manner.