Daily Monitor Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - The junior minister for Defence, Gen. Jeje Odong, was yesterday asked to explain an ‘irregular bank account’ which the ministry operates to keep money received from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
Uganda contributes the largest number of troops to Amisom, the continent’s peace enforcement mission in Somalia.
The questioning came after Parliament’s committee on defence and internal affairs, led by Mr Milton Muwuma, said there is no information about this account reflected in the ministry’s budget.
Mr Muwuma told the House plenary session that the account was opened irregularly, without following the law as required by Article 153(2) of the Constitution.
“Despite the lengthy deliberations with the Accountant General on the mode of operation of the Amisom account and the transmission mechanism of the funds from the AU to the Consolidated Fund, the committee is concerned about the legality and prudence of establishing and maintaining a special account by the Ministry of Defence without an Act of Parliament,” Mr Muwuma said.
The committee proposed that the Defence ministry considers remitting the Amisom revenues to the UPDF fund as established by Section 25 of the UPDF Act. However, Gen. Odong insisted that the account is regular and was opened in line with Uganda’s laws.
“The authority of this account exists because section 9 of the Public Finance Act authorises the opening of such an account,” he said.
His explanation was challenged by Mr Kassiano Wadri, the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.
“The accounts are not operated in Uganda, you can’t say they are regular when people manning it are not in Mbuya where the ministry sits.”