Muhakanizi in Fresh Row with MPs Over “Arrogant” Conduct

PAC Vice Chairperson, Gerald Karuhanga (L) and Chairperson, Angeline Osegge (R)

The chairperson of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Angeline Osegge has cautioned the Permanent Secretary in the Finance Ministry and Secretary to the Treasury, Keith Muhakanizi against attacking Parliament over the controversial Shs 700 billion that was borrowed by government from PTA Bank.

Osegge together with her Vice Chairperson, Gerald Karuhanga believe Muhakanizi must account for the loan which even the Accountant General and Governor Bank of Uganda rejected on due to the hefty interest (Shs 8 billion) that Uganda would be obliged to pay.

In response, Muhakanizi lashed at MPs whom he accused of failing to scrutinize the documents provided by the Ministry of Finance in explaining how the said loan was spent regardless of the fact that the money had initially been intended to purchase drugs.

The MPs accuse Muhakanizi of arrogance, abusiveness and disregard of the powers of parliament.

“It is surprising to see a civil servant like Mr Muhakanizi bastardize a Parliamentary process being conducted on the instruction of the Speaker herself,” Osegge said.

Osegge said that Muhakanizi couldn’t wait for the logical conclusion of the due process, “Instead rushing to disdain Parliament in his characteristic contemptuousness and lack of regard to established authority.”

“This Committee notes Muhakanizi’s utterances with indignation, and assures him and any other public servant keen to undermine the oversight responsibility of this Parliament that they will certainly be tamed and brought to order,” the PAC Chairperson warned.

The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga recently directed the Auditor General to investigate the issue and report back to Parliament at the end of this month before the House can decide on the fate of Muhakanizi and that the Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija.

In its report, PAC recommended that Muhakanizi be releived of his duties as Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury, and that Minister Kasaija be censured for lying the House to acquire the loan in the name of the National Medical Stores, Uganda National Roads Authority and Rural Electrification Agency yet later, it was used for other activities.

This is not the first time Muhakanizi is coming under fire by the same committee over his “arrogant” behavior.

Last year in July, Muhakanizi was forced toapologize before PAC members after he was quoted by a newspaper describing the legislators as rumormongers and idlers after they threatened to probe into the expediture of the same PTA loan.

The MPs led by Karuhanga, infuriated by his efforts to undermine their role asked him (Muhakanizi) to apologize which he later did.

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