I have reproduced a letter to Parliament on the above. Read and laugh or cry!
Staff of the Office of the Prime Minister
Office of The Prime Minister,
2nd October 2012
Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga,
Speaker of Parliament of Uganda
PETITION TO PARLIAMENT FOR INTERVENTION IN THE MANNER IN WHICH
POLICE IS SHEILDING KEY TWO SUSPECTS WHILE INVESTIGATING FRAUD IN
THE OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
We staff of the Office of the Prime Minister would like to appeal to Parliament to intervene and question the Director of CIID in Uganda Police why she is shielding the two main suspects in the corruption investigations in the Office of The Prime Minister.
Investigations into the loss of funds in the Office of the Prime Minister has been going on for the past three months. The matter came to limelight during the Month of May 2011, following a protracted conflict between three officers , Mr. Pius Bigirimana – Permanent Secretary and his Deputy Mrs. Flavia Waduwa – Undersecretary / Northern Uganda & Karamoja Programmes on the one side and Mr. Geoffrey Kazinda – Principal Accountant on the other side.
The conflict arouse in February 2012, when the three officers diverted donor funds for PRDP (Peace, Recovery and Development of Northern Uganda) amounting to over Uganda shs. 14,000,000,000/= (fourteen billion) to a secret account outside the mainstream Budget and Policy Statement of the Office of the Prime Minister.
The intention of the three top OPM officers was to keep the Auditor General and Politicians from Northern Uganda in the dark given that the defunct account where the money was kept has never been captured in the OPM Policy Statement for any financial year. The account is called , “Crisis Management and Recovery’ managed by the Permanent Secretary Mr. Pius Bigirimana and Principal Accountant Mr. Geoffrey Kazinda. Whenever Mr. Pius Bigirinana is out of the Country, the Under Secretary Mrs. Flavia Waduwa takes charge.
What is Crisis Management and Recovery Account?
This off – budget account was opened at the request of UNDP in 2006, purposely to assist the Department of Disaster Preparedness and Management to establish and facilitate Offices for District Disaster Coordinators in Gulu, Kitgum, Pader, Soroti, Katakwi, Lira and Kaberamaido.
The offices were established and were used to coordinate activities during the closing of IDP camps and IDP return home. At no single time between 2006 and 2008 when the project closed did the Crisis Management and Recovery Account receive any funds from Government of Uganda. In 2008, the project closed, the offices were also closed, the officers were laid-off and UNDP stopped funding. As expected the Permanent Secretary who was the Principal Signatory to the Account and also the Accounting Officer in OPM should have closed the account but for
some suspicious reasons he decided to keep it secretly open waiting for an opportunity to arise.
Why did the Permanent Secretary keep this account open?
The opportunity arrived four years down the road around February 2012, when Mrs. Flavia Waduwa was acting as Permanent Secretary while Pius Bigirimana was out of the country. Mrs. Flavia Waduwa identified some donor funds that had arrived for PRDP under her Department.
The funds arrived abit late after the budgeting process was over. She notified the PS Mr Pius Bigirimana and the Principal Accountant Geoffrey Kazinda of the opportunity. The three agreed that the funds be put in an account which is not known to security and politicians from Northern Uganda.
The ideal account they found was the Crisis Management and Recovery Account which
everybody else presumed had been closed two years ago. The account wastherefore unknown to the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, and All Ministers in the Prime Minister‟s Office.
Mrs. Flavia Waduwa who also sits on the OPM Contracts committee mobilized several junior officers to write requests for activities under Northern Uganda and karamoja programmes. Some of these activities were even back dated and inserted into the records of the contracts committee. Mrs Flavia Waduwa presented these suspicious activities to the PS on his return for approval.
The activities were expressly approved and in a record time of two months, a total sum of shs 11,000,000,000/= (eleven billion) had been paid out of the secret account. This is when the conflict between the duo and Mr. Kazinda arose. Kazinda felt, the duo had benefitted more than himself and refused to share the 3.8 billion which they had siphoned through Total Ntinda fuel station with PS‟s knowledge, though he now claims his signatures were forged. ( Note: You will
find the IFMS systems amounts of money paid to TOTAL NTINDA with PS‟s electronic
signature approval tallying the one‟s he is disputing on the BOU security papers. It is only the PS with the IFMS password !!!) Without this secret password no money can be spent or paid out to anyone; only the Permanent Secretary has this Password.
When the secret deal got exposed, Mr Pius Bigirimana (PS) in order to protect himself quickly claimed that He was not aware how Mr. Geoffrey Kazinda, „stole‟ the money from the Ministry of Finance and hind it under Crisis Management and Recovery. Mr Bigirimana‟s claims has no substance, because as a top officer of government why didn‟t he alert the Auditor General and Police immediately?
On a daily basis an Accounting Oficer is expected to monitor all government accounts under his jurisdiction. What did Pius do? The PS arranged with his deputy Flavia Waduwa put the stolen money to good use by funding questionable activities in Northern Uganda and Karamoja. In the PS‟s understanding, if one found a stolen goat he should slaughter it and feed to his family because they are hungry!! Mrs. Flavia Waduwa who serves as Ag. PS whenever Bigirimana is out of the Country also sits in the Contracts Committee where she influences approval of companies to supply her department for activities she earlier generated as head of department. Parliament should interview porters who build the Chefs
houses in Acholi and they will confirm that all the cement used were marked, „‟UPDF NOT FOR SALE”. How did UPDF cement find its way into the project? The Former Senior supplies Officer OPM Mr. Mike Gumisiriza will confirm that he was later coersed into formalizing the deals which originally never passed through the Procurement Unit and Contracts Committee. The PS has sent away 4 Procurement Officers within a period of three years because of
questioning activities Mrs Flavia Waduwa in the Contracts Committee. Mrs. Flavia Waduwa should be tasked to explain why she was drawing funds from a project
account that did not exist under her department and which is not captured in her annual workplan and budget approved by Parliament, i.e “Crisis Management and Recovery”.
Mr. Pius Bigirimana should be tasked to explain why an account that should have closed two years ago, remained open and why he approved payments from it ; as opposed to his claims that Kazinda deposited money there without his knowledge. If it was done without his knowledge, when did learn about availability of money in that account? Why did he leave it open for four years? There is a clear conspiracy between Mr. Puis Bigirimana, Mrs. Flavia Waduwa and Mr. Kazinda on the choice of the account and activities paid; though the duo are now pinning Kazinda and the smaller officers while shielding themselves.
Madam Speaker, why we are appealing for Parliament‟s intervention is because we feel the hands of the Director of CIID Grace Akullo are tied. Mr. Pius Bigirimana and Mrs. Flavia Waduwa have scared Akullo by claiming that they are in OPM particularly to take care of the INTERESTS OF THE FIRST FAMILY. In addition, every now and then, Mr. Pius Bigirimana has sought the protection of General Kale Kaihura whenever Madam Grace Akullo raises an issue pointing at Bigirimana. On the other hand, Mrs. Flavia Waduwa being Undersecretary for
Karamoja Affairs shields herself by claiming that all her activities are approved by Mama Janet Museveni, First Lady and Minister for Karamoja Affairs. 4
Madam Speaker, during the month of April 2012, when the conflict between Mr. Pius Bigirimana and Mrs Flavia Waduwa on one side and Mr. Geogrey Kazinda on the other side intensified; the PS organized Kazinda‟s transfer which out of anger resulted in Kazinda abandoning office and petitioning the IGG. Sensing danger on his side, Mr. Pius Birigimana moved swiftly by writing to General Kale Kaihura seeking Police help to apprehend Kazinda whom he claimed had disappeared from office and whose whereabouts were unknown. The PS misinformed the IGP because he had visited Kazinda several times at Kazinda‟s home to try reconcile but to no avail, he therefore knew Kazinda was in his house protesting sharing of their
Rt. Hon. Speaker, one example of the many fraudulent payments made by PS from from the stolen shs.14 billion secretly deposited in the „Crisis Management and Recovery Account‟ is an advance payment of shs. 1,600,000,000/= (1.6 billion) to a ploughing company called FEIL (Farm Engineering Industry Ltd). Mr Pius Bigirimana directed the Senior Procurement Officer Mr Mike Gumisiriza to approve payment before the ploughing was done and without going through the Contracts Committee. When Mr. Mike Gumisiriza resisted, Mr Pius Bigirimana organized his transfer out of OPM; payment was effected and with Mrs. Flavia Waduwa a
member of the Contracts Committee adjusted the documentation back-dating the records.
Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) and the alleged forgery of Mr. Pius
Bigirimana’s signatures. For effective accountable and transparent public finance management , Government introduced the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) which is a computerized State-wide financial transactions system which assists Accounting Officers monitor their budgets, initiate and process payments, manage and report on their financial activities. The IFMS has the stateof-the-art functionality on which only the accounting officer is given a secret password which serves an e-signature on only his desktop computer to approve payments in the system. Mr. Pius Bigirimana has been parading only one Bank of Uganda (BoU) security form on which his signature is forged. That is the only security paper taken to the Government hand writing expert
to analyze. What about the hundreds of security papers with his true signature for fake payments which himself and Kazinda signed to draw questionable funds such as payments to one Walusimbi Henry who built the Acholi Chiefs houses? Madam Speaker, we would like to appeal to Parliament to call for a Judicial Commission of Inquiry which amongst other issues should order for verification of several of the security papers with the signature of the PS other than relying on only one and then generalizing. The Police methodology in this case is highly questionable and only intended to shield the PS.5
The payments made where the PS claims his signature were forged, are on the contrary the same payments he approved in the IFMS system where only him the PS has a secret password and is only functional on his desk top computer!!! Has the Police asked the PS to explain this? The answer is no. Madam Speaker, is Mr. Pius Bigirimana trying to say that Kazinda was time and again accessing his secret password and desktop computer? There is noway Bank of Uganda can effect and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) without the PS‟s e-signature which is only accessible through his secret password. The Bank of Uganda Security Papers being paraded are mere additional checks to the official system funds control. Mr. Pius Bigirimana should be called to make a statement on why his electronic signatures approved the same amounts of funds as what he claims were paid through the forged signatures on the Bank of Uganda Security Papers!!
Payment of shs 1,600,000,000/= ( One billion six hundred million shillings) to International Development Consultants. Recently, Mr. Pius Bigirimana organized and received an accolade for „fighting‟ corruption in Government. We believe this was done to hoodwink the public. We would like a value for money audit to be carried out on one payment of shs 1,600,000,000/= to International
Development Consultants for the development of, „The Public Sector Management Strategic Investment Plan‟ (PSM-SIP). There are many similar investments plans in the country developed through similar processes, let a special audit be commissioned to verify similarities in the amounts paid to the consulting firm and also verify how this particular firm was acquired.
If Parliament sets up a Judicial Commission of Enquiry, we shall feel safe enough to testify with documentary evidence how the consultant first presented a proposed cost of shs. 400,000,000/= which the PS withdraw from the responsible officer. The PS returned the proposal to firm director who is his close friend, then a new proposal of shs 800,000,000/= was presented. Again PS withdrew it and returned with final bill of shs.1,600,000,000/= was presented and was paid.
The DANIDA External Auditors queried this huge payment but matters were silenced.
Rt. Hon. Speaker, recently Hon. Ogwang received some documents on what we have stated above showing evidence of how Mr Puis Bigirimana and Mrs Flavia Waduwa have defrauded government of billions of shillings. What followed? The first attempt to compromise Hon Ogwang was through a certain women. She was arrested in Parliament trying to bribe Hon.Ogwang. The case of the Women take to CPS was quickly suppressed. A more efficient arrangement was later made and Hon. Ogwang was effectively silenced. He will never talk about the documents again. We are now scared of informing some MPs because they easily get compromised. This is why we are appealing for a Judicial Commission of Enquiry other that a
Parliamentary Committee Enquiry.
Questionable Selective Police Investigations
As already stated above, the Director of CIID is not carry out a fair and free investigation on OPM. For example, all other OPM officers are summoned and are interrogated at CIID quarters in Kibuli, but when Flavia Waduwa‟s turn came, it was the Police that had to come to OPM and talked to her from the PS‟s boardroom !!! The Director of CIID collected all files from OPM
Accounts Department and kept them at her offices in Kibuli. Now, on a daily basis either the Director herself or one of her senior officers brings selected files to Mr. Pius Bigirimana‟s Office either early in the morning or late in the evening. Together with Mrs Flavia Waduwa, the PS securitize the files and the duo selects those that may cause them problems for shelving. The duo
only releases to the police files they feel cannot be used to pin them. If Police is allowed to continue the way it is conducting investigations now, then they truth will never come out and the faith that the police had gained from the public will quickly erode. One may even be tempted to believe that the whole team from Police investigating OPM has been compromised and are in agreement to shield Flavia Waduwa and Pius Bigirimana yet the two are obviously the orchestrators of all the scandals on OPM.
Construction of Chiefs Houses in Acholi
Hon Speaker, We would like Parliament to find out from Mrs Flavia Waduwa and the PS how one Mr. Walusimbi Henry who has never been a staff of the Office of the Prime Minister or Government of Uganda and without any contract document got engaged in the construction of the 54 Acholi chefs houses. Mr Walusimbi who does not have any qualification in building was hand-picked by Mrs Flavia Waduwa. He managed the construction of the 54 houses using huge cash advances from Mrs Flavia Waduwa!! Mr Walusimbi used cement from UPDF. The competence of Mr Pius Bigirimana as a top Manager and Accounting Officer should be questioned.
Management of the Media
We have seen representatives of many media houses visiting Mrs Flavia Waduwa‟s office at least twice a week. Flavia has effectively managed the media in favour of herself and Pius Bigirimana. This is the reason you see repeatedly pictures of the same hydraform houses year in year out on newspapers to hoodwink the concerned public into thinking they are had working and not involved in the scandals. We would like to see the three explain how PRDP funds found
its way into a „closed” account called, “Crisis Management and Recovery”
Madam Speaker, We are not comfortable giving information to CIID because there are openly shielding Mr Pius Bigirimana and Mrs Flavia Waduwa and we least trust Hon Tinkasimire‟s Presidential Affairs Committee in handling this matter.7
Madam Speaker, know Mr. Pius Bigirimana and Mrs. Flavia Waduwa are very very powerful with strong connections to THE FIRST FAMILY. In addition, we know Mr. Pius Bigirimana is very close to General Kale Kaihura. We, however, feel, Government still has the responsibility not to let these two officers use they privileged positions to practice corruption with impunity.
They should not be allowed to use their privileged positions and huge sums of money in their possession to direct police investigations thus sacrificing innocent junior officers alongside Kazinda while they swing in air-conditioned offices.
In conclusion, Madam Speaker, we appeal to Parliament to call for a Judicial Commission of Enquiry into OPM funds scandal similar to Sebutide‟s.
I have signed below on behalf of all the concerned Officers
H.E The President of the Republic of Uganda
All Ministers and Ministers of State
All Members of Parliament
The Inspector General of Government
Head of Public Service and Secretary to Cabinet
Deputy Head of Public Service and Secretary Administrative Reform
All Permanent Secretaries
Governor Bank of Uganda
The Inspector General of Police
The Director of CIID