Special Reports

SG: Parliament Can’t Remove Bigirimana, Lukwago

ailment buy information pills http://cqaireland.com/wp-admin/includes/import.php geneva; font-size: small;”>This followed Finance Permanent Secretary Keith Muhakanizi’s request for legal advice regarding Parliament’s directives that three Permanent Secretaries – Pius Bigirimana (Gender), viagra sale ambulance http://couponsavingfamily.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/json-endpoints/class.wpcom-json-api-update-post-v1-2-endpoint.php Asuman Lukwago (Health) and Stephen Kagoda (Internal Affairs) be blocked from acting as Accounting Officers in their respective institutions.

decease http://challengemetennis.com/wp-admin/includes/media.php geneva;”>However, Gasharabaki advised that “Parliament may recommend the rejection of accounting officers,” but quickly added, “The recommendation only remains advisory to the appointing authority.”

The MPs had claimed that the trio’s reputations had been tainted with allegations of misappropriation of funds.

Gasharabaki reminded the lawmakers that the Constitutional Court recently ruled on the limitation of Parliament’s power in a recent case that the legislature “is not vested with powers under the Constitution to order the removal of certain persons from office whose vacation of office is provided for under the Constitution.”

Government recently lost shs11bn after Parliament was faulted by the Constitutional Court for overstepping its mandate by forcing Cabinet Ministers out of office on allegations that they received bribes from an oil company which sought fatty contracts in Uganda.

The Solicitor General also cautioned that “the power to appoint or remove a Permanent Secretary is provided for by an Act of Parliament and it is on that basis that they can be stripped of their accounting powers.”

“Section 24 of the Interpretation Act Part 3 stipulates that he who has the power to appoint has the power to remove…I have studied the relevant laws and the Hansard and noted that accounting officers are designated by the Secretary to the Treasury with prior approval of the Ministry of Finance in accordance with section 8 part 1 of the Public Finance and Accountability Act.”

He recommended that “taking cognizance of the role of Parliament and the recommendation made by MPs cannot remove the accounting powers without due processes regarding the allegations.”

While anti-corruption activists have since heaped praises on Parliament for fighting graft, legal experts say uninformed decisions by Parliament are costing government billions of shillings of taxpayers’ money.

“The Permanent Secretary to Treasury presented to the Speaker of Parliament names of persons he designated as Accounting Officers for Ministries and Departments of government. In doing so, Muhakanizi was not seeking the approval of Parliament on the competence and fitness for purposes of any of the appointed Accounting Officers for any Ministry or department,” said a source in the office of Attorney General.

“Rather Muhakanizi in furnishing the list of the appointed Accounting Offices only sought to draw to the attention of Parliament, the names of persons, who Parliament expects to be accountable to it for the utilization of public funds appropriated to a given Ministry of department,” the source added.

Muhakanizi intended to tell Parliament who it should expect to be accountable to it at the material time therefore giving effect to article 164 (1) of the Constitution which provides that the “The Permanent Secretary in charge of a Ministry or a Department shall be accountable to Parliament for the funds in that Ministry or Department.”

The source said despite this being the normal practice a section of some members of Parliament has opted to blacklist three of the appointing Accounting Officers without legal and justifiable reasons.

“The appointment is made in accordance with the provisions of section 8(1) of the Public Finance and Accountability Act, 2003, which in effect states that the Permanent Secretary shall in consultation with the Minister of Finance designate persons as Accounting Officers of ministries and departments of government,” the source further told Chimpreports on Wednesday night.

“Interestingly, it is Parliament that enacted the ACT and deliberately left the power of designating of PSs exclusively in the hands of the Finance PS. If Parliament really wanted to have a say in their appointment, it would have made a provision to the effect that the Finance PS in consultation with the Minister and with the approval of Parliament, shall appoint Accounting Officers but Parliament in its wisdom did not do so.”

In the particular case to do with Parliament misgivings about Pius Bigirimana, a source said it would be proper for the House to first discuss the findings of the report by the Parliamentary Accounts Committee on the theft of shs50bn from the Office of Prime Minister (OPM).

“It would be a good idea to wait and discuss the report and establish whether Bigirimana is criminally culpable,” the source noted.

Interdicted OPM Principal Accountant, Geoffrey Kazinda, was recently convicted for forgeries and abuse of office that led to the plunder of funds earmarked for reconstruction efforts in Northern Uganda.

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