PAC orders Lamwo District officials to refund Shs55million

Lamwo–The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has ordered 13 Lamwo local government officials to refund up to Shs55 million that they failed to account for over a six-month period.

The order was made Thursday at Gulu municipal health boardroom during PAC audit of the district.

The PAC audit for Lamwo District, chaired by MP Emmanuel Ongiertho (Jonam County in Nebbi District), found out that 13 staff signed for money amounting to Shs55,125,350, but could not account for the funds.

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Among the staff that were ordered to refund the money are Ben Oyika, inspector of school signed Shs3.6 million, Harriet Okeny Charity, Human resource signed for Shs4.5 million, Robert Komakech Olwedo Sh8 million, John Ojara Bosco Sh1.8 million, Anthony Alupu Tolit Shs1.5 million, Geoffrey Okeny Shs3.9 million, Jimmy Amone Shs1 million, and John Komakech Ogwok, chairman L.C 5 Sh1.1 million.

Others are Augustine. O. Okwera Sh15.2 million, AlexKadugu Powel , chief finance officer Shs6.2 million, Josephine Arach Shs1.1 million, Album Onywaronga Shs3.3 million, and CPAJames Nyero  Sh3.4 million.

“This is favourism where a single staff is consuming district resources, squeezing other department and squeezing other people without accounting for the money,” Spellanza Baguma Muhenda, Kyenjojo Woman MP, said.

Muhenda said it seems the accounting officer share the unaccounted money with staff who signed because it is not possible for staff to have signed for money and failed to account for it with district public account committees.

MP Ongiertho tasked the CAO Lamwo district to come up with a list of the staff and modalities for recovery of the funds in the next six months.

He proposed field visits to Lamwo to assess the cause for the low recovery of Youth Livelihood Fund, noting that a report on the programme indicates that, out of Sh390  million given  to 121 youth groups, the district only managed to recover Shs105.7 million.

Ongiertho said the accounting officer did not come with the district focal point person and most of the youth groups that have not paid back the youth funds do not have contact person.

“I think CAO made it deliberate for district youth livelihood focal point person not to come as most of these groups could be ghost groups which they have created to swindled the money,” the MP said as he proposed field visit to all the youth groups in Lamwo to investigate why all the youth groups that are defaulting do not have contact persons.

PAC chairperson Reagan Okumu said the audit report will be presented to Parliament in January after the committee has completed its audit of local governments countrywide.

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