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Makerere in ghost payment scandal, Parliament finds out


Makerere in ghost payment scandal, Parliament finds out

MP Muwanga Kivumbi

Makerere University is once again in the news for bad news after Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee discovered that the institution paid a staggering 127 million shillings to a ghost worker.

The shocking revelation was made in the 2022/23 Auditor General’s report, which exposed the university’s payment of salaries to a non-existent staff member for 3 years.

During a tense meeting with the Public Accounts Committee at the university, PAC, chaired by Muwanga Kivumbi, the university bursar Everest Bainomigisha said that the implicated staff member identified as Paul Bakaki had requested a study leave, but at the end of his study leave Bakaki absconded from work without notice.

The Uganda Public service standing order 2021 provides that payment of a salary to a public officer shall be stopped immediately the officer ceases to render services to the government under whatever circumstances including death.

Muwanga Kivumbi and his committee members were not impressed with the explanation by the University Accounting officer and directed the university management to take immediate legal action to recover the lost funds and failure to do so, the responsible officers will be held personally liable for the refund.

“For how long this payment went without knowing somebody breached (the order) because this is a lot of money, 127 million shillings, what was his salary that amounted to this figure,” Muwanga asked.

In response, the University secretary said that this officer was given a study leave officially and instead of him coming back, he did not.

Muwanga insisted that the University management takes disciplinary measures.

Despite the explanation, Susan Amero (Amuria District Woman MP) expressed dissatisfaction, when she said “so for you to continue paying him (Paul Bakaki) even after finishing his course and failed to come back for 3 years, means you had an interest in this.

“For me I want to convince you beyond reasonable doubt that somebody slept on the job, you can not claim that the person has run away for three years and continue paying him, for me am convincing you to pronounce yourself that whoever was responsible to deduct these payments slept on the job,””
-Gorreth Namugga (Mawongola South MP)

Meanwhile the committee also directed Makerere University management to provide the current status of its land across the country.

This follows revelations according to the Auditor General’s report for the financial year ended 2022/23, that the University has failed to acquire land titles for various land properties.

The committee expressed worry over the security of the University land in different parts of the country including farmland in Gomba, Nakasongola, Kyankwanzi and other properties in Kololo, Makindye, Mukono

Godfrey Saazi, the Gomba east MP quoted the auditor general report, saying that the Buyana farm is not given a budget as a result the farm manager decided to rent out the land to the neighbouring community to generate income to support the farm operations. “this means any time this land will also be taken eventually,” Saazi warned

Showing concern about the urgent need to protect university land and the risk of land grabbing, the committee chair Muwanga Kivumbi said there is need to seek a mandate from the authorities at parliament to further investigate these land matters.

“Can you by the end of next week submit the status of all the land that this university has and we are going to address the question of Makerere University land”-Muwanga concluded.

The University Secretary Yusuf Kiranda welcomed the idea by the parliamentary Public Accounts committee saying this move will help supplement the institution’s efforts.

“I am happy the committee has picked interest in this land matter, we have dealt with land problems everywhere, in one of the cases, someone had the capacity to go and arrest people who were guarding our land in Makindye and not university guards, but policemen and other police officers were deployed and arrest their colleagues that were protecting university land”-Kiranda revealed.

He went on to explain that while the University management is doing a lot to secure the institution’s land, the forces they deal with in some of these land cases turn out to be stronger than Makerere.

“For instance, we apply for a land title on our and it takes ages to get it and a private person applies for the same title and he gets it very quickly”-Kiranda further notes.



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