How former Mbale City Clerk used his own company to divert Shs129m

The former Mbale City Deputy Town Clerk Kenneth Khatuli Waniaye has been implicated in an influence-peddling and revenue siphoning/ diversion scandal after he used a company where he was a co-director to secure an advertising contract worth Shs129m from Mbale City.

The revelation was made by a local businesswoman Fatina Kato who while appearing before the Mbale City Public Accounts Committee alleged that Kahtuli used her company called 256 to secure a contract and collect revenue worth Shs129m in advertising fees.

Fatina asserted that money was channelled through her company account in Housing Finance Bank to Khatuli.

“I don’t know what transpired behind the curtain because he (Khatuli) was a co-director and is answerable for that at that particular time”.

Fatuma was given up to Friday to avail more evidence to support her claim after which the committee will take a decision.

Khatuli’s actions amount to influence peddling and conflict of interest in contradiction of the leadership code of conduct, the Anti-corruption Act, and the Public Procurement Act.

Khatuli is the Deputy Town Clerk for Jinja City, a Job he assumed in February this year.

The Mbale City Public Accounts Committee Chairperson Rogers  Kimaswa revealed that a lot of money has been lost to quasi-contractors involving technical staff in the city council.

The committee issued arrest warrants for four officers including;  The Probation and Welfare Officer Dominic Wanzira, the Human Resource Officer the Principal Environment Officer Rhoda Nyaribi, and Senior City Engineer Jonson Gimuyi after they failed to defend expenditures totalling Shs170m.

Wanzira failed to provide proof for expenditures amounting to over Shs120m including Shs66m personal advances and Shs60m meant for team building.

He claimed that the Shs60m was spent on councillors’ capacity building and a tour but there were no necessary documents to back the expenditure.

He told the committee that he had misplaced some of the vouchers and requisitions were misplaced.

On the other hand, the acting City Engineer failed to account for Shs5 million. Gimuyi claimed that he spent the funds to pay councillors' allowances during monitor of projects but controversy ensued when some of the councillors who were invited to verify the receipt dissociated themselves from the claim saying the monitoring never took place.

“Engineer used the names of the councillors to access and divert the funds and he ate it,” said Kimaswa adding that Gimuyi swapped the initial document that bore the names of councillors presented by the engineer and presented another list with new names a move that prompted the committee to issue an arrest warrant against Gimuyi sighting forgery.

“Some of these matters which cannot be handled by police I will forward them to IGG and statehouse anti-corruption unit,” said Kimaswa.

This comes at a time when the city is grappling with poor service delivery attributed to revenue leakages and corruption. Mbale city collects less than Shs1b in the entire financial year.

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