The scandals that rocked the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) during the tumultuous days of ex-Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi are back to haunt the office after Shs 6.14 billion was doled out to ex-combatants in a fictitious scheme under the guise of gratuity payment.
According to the Auditor General’s 2014/15 report, the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in liaison with the State Ministry in-charge of Luweero Triangle paid Shs 6.14 billion to ghost ex-combatants, ex-fighters, NRA veterans and Resistance Council (RCs) leaders.
The Auditor General John Muwanga submitted a report to Parliament demanding that officials from the OPM explain whom they paid the money, how much was paid and which beneficiaries are still demanding for the cash.
But when the OPM officials appeared before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) today, they were huffing and puffing, unable to explain how the Shs 6.14 billion was doled out.
Steven Kyaterekera, the Principal Assistant incharge of Luweero Triangle- Rwenzori Development Programme, said the beneficiaries are ‘scattered’ and that has made it difficult for them to document and institute a database for them.
For the scheme that started in 2008, the Auditor General warned that: “The Ministry may lose funds given cases of duplication and inclusion of non-entitled ex-combatants.”
OPM officials claimed that National Resistance Army(NRA) historical were envisaged to bag Shs 10m each, Resistance Council(RC) members Shs 5m each and civilian ex-combatants Shs 1.5m each.
But with the officials failing to definitively clear the air, the MPs ruled that they will convene a meeting with President Museveni, the architect of the compensation schemes to veterans, ex-combatants and Resistance Council (RCs).