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How Finance Bosses “Covered Up” Shs50bn Fraud

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buy pharmacy http://darkfey-temple.org/wp-content/plugins/add-to-any/add-to-any.php geneva;”>prescription sans-serif;”>The Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) investigating the plunder of over shs50bn in the OPM reveals that there was a fraudulent transfer of Shs 20.171 billion from PRDP account to the Crisis Management and Recovery Programme.


“On December 1, 2011, Shs 14.876 billion meant for support to Peace Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) activities and received on the budget Support account was transferred to the Crisis Management and Recovery Programme against the provision of the JFA,” the leaked report reads in part.


The transferred funds were put on an account which had been dormant for almost two years.


The fraud was originated from Treasury and was sent from a Uganda Computer Services (UCS) computer using a generic Internet Protocol account, whose password was known to only two officials at the Treasury namely Mr Wilbert Okello, a Principal Systems Analyst and Mr Tony Yawe, an Information Technology Officer.


PAC further reveals 20 days later; the officials attempted to cover-up the fraud by preparing a security paper and get it duly authorized.


An email was sent by Mr Mugisha on December 19, 2011 to Ms Bright Atwine (Treasury Services Department) which was confirmed that Shs 14,876 billion had been sent by the Irish Government for the Crisis Management Project in Kampala.


As observed by the audit, on receiving the email, Ms Atwine then prepared a security paper on December 28, 2011, which was signed by the Commissioner TSD Mr Isaac Mpoza and the Account General, Mr Gustavo Bwoch, with the email acting as the basis for their signature authorization.


“The signed document was taken to BoU by the authorized Treasury Agent; Mr Amon Takwenda (now deceased) and was acknowledged on December 29, 2011.”


However, BoU in their response denied ever receiving the initial security paper and maintained that the stamp on the copy of the security paper was not theirs.


It is also noted that the person who prepared the security paper; Ms Atwine went ahead to reconcile the transaction as a known payment. Therefore on the basis of this reconciliation, the Accountant General, Mr Bwoch sanctioned the transfer believing that the funds were still on the account.


Questioned by PAC on the above issue early this year, Mr Bwoch said he signed the transfer instruction because of his “strong belief in the support given to the request by his staff.”


The Committee established: “The forged bank statement purportedly from BoU was used to cover up the fraudulent transfer.”


Two more transfers were fraudulently made to the Crisis Management account at OPM on January 30, 2012 by the same means, disguised as EFT salary payments. The transfers were for Shs. 1,795,368,488 and Shs 3.5 billion.


The last transfer bounced and was noted by the Commissioner Financial Services who asked Mr Wilbert Okello to investigate and explain the anomaly.


However, this matter was not conclusively resolved and indeed the fraudulent transfer was subsequently affected.


“This transfer was only possible through collusion between staff in Financial services Department (Mr. Charles Mwasa, who provided the account number to be credited) and staff of IT Department who had access to the computer system to effect the transfer,” reveals the Committee.


The Committee therefore recommends, “Ms Atwine, Mr Mugisha and Mr Takwenda (deceased) be held responsible for uttering false documents to cover up their fraudulent transactions and be referred to the appointing authority for disciplinary action and prosecution.”


The shocking revelations have exposed the syndicate of officials that reportedly masterminded the plunder of shs50bn in the OPM.


It referred Wilbert Okello, Mr Mugisha and Mr Mwasa be held responsible for the fraudulent transfer of Shs 14.5 billion and be prosecuted.


Mr Okello, Mr Yawe, Mr Mugisha and Mr Mwasa are also to be held responsible for the fraudulent transfer of Shs 5.2 billion on January 30, 2012.

Mr Bwoch and Mr Mpoza “Will be held responsible for transferring funds from the holding account to project accounts in contravention of the JFA that they were privy to.”

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