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It’s A Shame Parliament Trades In Mob Justice

there http://cigarworld.com.au/old/cigars/class/admincp/helpfile/helpfile.class.php "sans-serif";”>Interestingly, healing a new twist has been added to the whole thing, remedy that is, that Bigirimana should be interdicted, allegedly in public interest.

None of these self professed anti-corruption crusaders makes a case, that makes sense, both in law and logic, why Bigirimana should resign and or be interdicted for the stinking and glaring transgressions of a public officer, Kazinda, who already has come face to face with the long arm of the law.

All they say is; “Lwamafa went, so Bigirimana too should go”. In their comparison of Bigirimana’s case with Lwamafa’s, the crusading MPs, appear to say that since Akbar Godi was arrested, charged, tried, convicted and sentenced for the murder of his wife, every other MP, who for one reason or another is believed by the court of public opinion, to have been part of a series of excuses leading to their spouse’s demise, too should follow Godi Akbar’s fate. Hold it one second distinguished Mps, there is not such a thing as collective guilty.

There is a law which entitles all of us, young and old, petty and high, M.P or not, to the unfettered access to information in the hands of the state. I have noticed over time that some MPs either, because of their compromised levels of know-how in the law or out of deliberate desire to settle personal scores and gain political victory by shooting down whosoever they lay their hands on.

Some have divested themselves of this right of access to information with the result that they have ended up feeding the public on chorus distortions which border on mob justice.

You hear some of the MPs say; “this committee has powers of the High Court” and then you ask yourself, powers of the High court to do what? Indeed some very section of crude and rudimentary mps, in the exercise of their alleged “powers of the High Court” , end up making arbitrary decisions such as; ordering for and supervising illegal demolition of buildings, arresting witnesses, ordering police to arrest or cause the arrest of citizens, ordering/directing the President to do this and that etc.

Parliament has now bestowed upon itself, both judicial and executive powers as well as the power to stampede and hold the executive and the judiciary at ransom. All this is so because of some crude MPs’ refusal to take seriously, the virtue of submitting from an informed point of view, for if they cared to do so, they would know that a committee of parliament has powers of the High Court to the extent only that it can summon and cause the attendance of witnesses and cause the production of documents, full stop.

For the anticorruption crusade to appear credible, it is my passionate call to every crusader, MP or otherwise, to equip themselves with information and facts otherwise it risks degenerating into a “pull him down scheme.

I associate myself with all manner of voices which advocate for the change of the name of mismanagement of public resources from corruption to “loot” and or “plunder”.

As a member of this very society, I see men and women of our society, who only yesterday had nothing to their name, but because of their placement in public offices, they have illicitly amassed so much wealth to their personal and spouses’ name that if you picked the courage to ask them to justify the source, they too would be shocked.

However to the extent that there is no will on the part of the anti-corruption crusaders to accord all manner of implicated persons, be they NRM or opposition, audience to make their case and or palliate their conduct. I cannot help but ask to be let off the anti-corruption crusade wagon.

I dare say that the method now days employed in the war against corruption, is itself corrupt with result we risk losing the gains so far made because the whole thing has become the kind of mob justice that I used to witness in Kazo cattle market, where cattle theft suspect would be punished there and then, without caring to accord item a fair hearing. Stories would emerge in the end, regretably so, that the mob justice court concentrated on the innocent suspects and lost sight of the guilty ones, who would sometimes be part of and or sponsoring the court of mob justice.

It is in this regard that I take exception to and condemn in the strongest terms possible, any voice of agitation for the resignation of Bigirimana, when there is not a single accusing figure made reference to that has been raised against him.

If any one cared to access information in the OPM regarding what is now notorious referred to as the Kazinda scam, one would applaud and salute Bigirimana for single handedly generating processes that have led to the successful unearthing of highly wired and insulated cobweb of white collar graft in public service.

Speaking for myself, I am aware of self explanatory instances to showcase to every anti-corruption crusader free from the “pull him down” cancer which is eating up almost everybody in either side of the political divide, that Bigirimana has absolutely nothing to do with the Kazinda scam.

In exercise of my right of access to information, I have sought and obtained information from the responsible state institution regarding the OPM plunder and I can write with no fear of contradiction that it is only the judgment of God and not the court of mob-justice which can dislodge Bigirimana from that office.

1) I say so because the available audit trail exonerates him almost 100%. It is on record that as far back, as January 10th 2011, Bigirimana, with pen on paper, drew Kazinda’s attention to a litany of transgressions and warned him, inter alia as follows;”it has been brought to my attention that you create a false impression that your irregular behavior and poor work habits have got my blessing. This kind of conduct cannot be tolerated in the public service”.

2) It is also on record that On 18th January 2011, Bigirimana, issued a directive to Kazinda as follows; ”to promote transparency connect all heads of department to the integrated financial management system” which Kazinda declined to do. The most critical point which if paid attention to, would get the anti-corruption crusaders rethinking their biases and prejudices is that principal accountants wheresoever they are, are not answerable to the PS. They are posted, transferred, withdrawn and disciplined by the Accountant General not the PS. The person worth crucifying for Kazinda’s transgressions is his boss, the Accountant General. Surprisingly, no one seems to point an accusing finger in his face thus justifying a view shared in private and in public that Bigirimana is the proverbial “grass that suffers” in the cold war that is slowly but surely taking shape between two politically unassailable elephants in the OPM.

3) It is also public information that On 28th January 2011, Bigirimana wrote to the Accountant General drawing to his attention, what he called Kazinda’s “unsatisfactory conduct’’ and reiterated the contents of his 10th January 2011 warning letter to Kazinda and summed up by calling upon the Accountant General “. . . to warn Kazinda and if he can’t change to withdraw him and post someone else to OPM who will observe the law and follow treasury accounting instructions.” Notwithstanding Bigirimana’s unequivocal call to the Accountant General, Kazinda was neither reprimanded nor withdrawn. Considering that Kazinda is an officer employed and deployed to OPM by the office of the Accountant General, beyond drawing his transgressions to the attention of the Accountant General, what more should Bigirimana have done for which i should give my stamp of approval to calls to have him resign?

4) It is also true that On 9th July 2012, Bigirimana wrote to the Accountant General drawing to his attention the fact that Kazinda had been away without official leave from 6th June 2012.

5) All these make a case that all Bigirimana could do to Kazinda was to report him to his supervisor, the Accountant General, who unfortunately was unwilling to whip Kazinda into displine.

6) It is also true that on 11th July 2012, Bigirimana wrote to Kazinda strongly warning him to terminate his prolonged absence from office but all the same Kazinda did not relent.

7) Sick and tired of Kazinda’s plunder, Bigirimana, unprompted by any authority, wrote to the Auditor General on 17th July 2012 requesting for a value for money audit on all special programs in the OPM for the period 1st July 2010 to 30th June 2012. If Bigirimana had reason to believe that for one reason or another, he was a beneficiary of Kazinda’s syndicate, why would he be stupid to bring on board the Auditor General well knowing that the Auditor General’s findings were likely to be counterproductive?

8) It is the same Bigirimana who On 18th July 2012 Bigirimana requested the IGP to interest himself with Kazinda’s inexcusable absence from office for over a month and at the same time requested the IGP to Investigate allegations that Kazinda was ferrying public documents from his office to unknown places, forging the PS’ signature and co-mingling funds. By this letter to the IGP, Bigirimana also unmoved by any one invited police to trace the whereabouts of Kazinda and thanks to Grace Akullo’s steadfastness, just the next day police swung into action and unearthed the terrible filth. Instead of being

9) Saluted for these great strides, Bigirimana is now being bashed as far he is the one who offered corruption tutorials to the implicated officials.

10) Noteworthy is the fact that, the value for money audit conducted by the Auditor General on 22nd October 2012, the value for money Audit made stunning revelations, none of which points an accusing finger against Bigirimana. The salient parts of that audit are breath taking, namely that;

a) On 1st December 2011, the Accountant General together with Kazinda, without the knowledge of Bigirimana transferred UGX.14.8bn to a dormant account disguising it as an electronic fund transfer file.

b) The Auditor General found out that this fraud originated from treasury and a one Wilbert Okello and Tony Yawe were responsible.

c) The Auditor General also discovered in this value for money audit that officers from Ministry of finance, namely David Mugisha and Bright Atwine were involved.

d) The same value for money audit also discovered that the Accountant General himself and a one Mpoza without Bigirimana’s knowledge, authorised the transfer by Kazinda of the UGx14.8 bn. Why would one now fail to see that the Accountant General was a weaving thread in Kazinda’s cobweb of fraud? Is it any more hard for one to know that Kazinda could neither be reprimanded nor withdrawn from OPM as earlier requested by Bigirimana because to do so would be to close a pipeline of illicit enrichment?

e) The value for money audit also reveals that a one Lubega Chris, the database administrator in ministry of finance arbitrarily assigned the responsibility of invoice approval, which ordinarily is the exclusive preserve of Bigirimana as PS, to Kazinda and as a result Kazinda got the luxury to access UGX.16,222,877,129/= completely behind Bigirimana’s back.

f) The same value for money audit also reveals that out of 100% of payments made in the audited period, 74.5% of those payments was arbitrarily made by Kazinda, without the knowledge of Bigirimana, as a result, of course, of the authority exclusively yet fraudulently assigned to him by the database manager.

g) It was also discovered that 121 payment instructions to the tune of 13,454,035,346/= were honoured by Bank of Uganda notwithstanding that the signatures on all the 121 payment instructions were not in any way similar to the specimen signature of Bigirimana kept by Bank of Uganda, which under both abnormal and normal circumstances, Bank of Uganda is by law enjoined to verify before honoring any payment instruction.

h) It is further revealed by the value for money audit that it was solely the fraudulent scheme of the Accountant General in cohorts with Kazinda to rejuvenate the crisis management account on which they transferred UGX14.8bn in December 2011 and January 2012, completely without the knowledge of Bigirimana. It is to be born in mind that this account had been dormant following its closure in 2009 when UNDP stopped funding the crisis management and recovery activities.

i) It was also discovered that Kazinda together with a one Owor had irregularly “paid” Shs 6bn to Caltex petro station. Surprisingly this money was followed and withdrawn soon thereafter by the same Kazinda and Owor. This too, according to the audit, was unknown to Bigirimana.

In view of the above, the question I keep asking myself is; on what basis do these Mps want Bigirimana to resign?

The other obvious discovery I make from the work ethic of the court of mob justice is that not many of us have an idea under what circumstances a public servant can be interdicted. We need to know that one cannot be interdicted unless the internal machinery of government has pointed an accusing figure in one’s work ethic, thus requiring that one be exhaustively investigated. When a situation like this arises, a public servant is interdicted on half pay pending the conclusion of investigations.

For the case of Bigirimana, no such process has been set in oscillation by the appropriate machinery of government to make him a deserving case of an interdiction. All there is are audit queries, to which, in accordance with the Audit Act and the Audit regulations in force in Uganda, he is only required to respond, to the satisfaction of the Auditor General.

Besides PAC, which is the responsible committee of parliament which executes the public accountability mandate on behalf of Parliament, has not interacted with Bigirimana on the Kazinda scam and any other subject.

The call by the MPS for Bigirimana’s resignation and or interdiction in complete disregard of due process, in my view, borders on translating parliamentary immunity into parliamentary impunity and I should at this juncture, be excused for accusing the Mps responsible for this high handed and arbitrary work ethic, of “political defilement”.


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