Members of the Public Accounts Committee were left in shock after it was revealed that the Ministry of Defence could not explain where 1.7 billion shillings of the over 1.4 trillion shillings the ministry’s budget meant to clear pension and social benefits could not be traced.
The accounting officer ministry of defence Edith Buturo revealed to the committee that the monies were released but bounced due to incorrect bank accounts but failed to account for where the monies are currently.
The defence ministry officials were in parliament to answer queries of compensation on land occupied by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) andthe implementation of the 2017/18 budget approved by parliament.
It is here that it was discovered that even though the ministry of defense had spent to zero balance of the over 1.4 trillion budget, 1.7bn meant to pay pensions and social benefits was released, did not reach its destination but cannot be traced.
But that was not all, the committee also discovered unauthorised 35 billion that was spent above the budget mainly on utilities like electricity and water costing 26 billion and 7.7 billion respectively.
The chairman of the committee NathanNandala Mafabi said it was unusual for parliament to approve 3% increase on the supplementary budget.
The committee also noted conflicting numbers in the reports with variations from that of the auditor generals report and that of the internal auditor of the ministry of defence.
With a number of queries unanswered and unsupported, the legislators then gave one week to the officials to providethe necessary documents.