AMOLTAR – Councillors from Amoltar district have petitioned Speaker of Parliament demanding to have their Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Pius Epaju removed from office over, accusing him of financial indiscipline and false accounting of districts funds amounting to Shs1.5Bn.
The petition comes at a time when Parliament is in the process to approve all accounting officers both in Local and Central Government as per the Public Finance and Management Act.
Section 11(2)(g) of the Public Finance Management Act, 2015 mandates the Secretary to the Treasury to appoint or designate Accounting Officers but the same Act stipulates that any person who has not accounted for public resources or assets of a vote, according to the report of the Internal Auditor General or the Auditor General, shall not be appointed or designated an Accounting Officer.
The councillors led by Godfrey Ocen were accompanied by Anthony Okello and Doreen Amule and accused Epaju of diverting money the district received from UNICEF for construction of classrooms in some of the dilapidated schools across the district.
Ocen detailed the rot at the district headquarters accusing Epaju of causing financial mismanagement, something he says the district boss is carrying out in connivance with some of the district leaders, which has seen the district stagnate in growth and development.
During the handover of the petition, the councillors pointed out that most of the misappropriated funds were meant to cater for health, Education, roadworks in the district.
“Even some of the projects completed in the last financial year haven’t been paid for and the accounting officers are expecting to use first quarterly release and yet Government had remitted money in the previous financial year. Our district chairman is aware of all these messes and he is supporting the accounting officer,” Ocen explained.
As such, the district politicians are demanding to have the CAO transferred or else, Government suspend sending funds for the next quarter until a new CAO is in place.
The Councilors also made calls to the Speaker to send the Local Government Accounts Committee Amoltar district to investigate the alleged financial misappropriation through physical audit and assess value money on various government projects.
Kadaga commended the move taken by the Councilors and promised to have Parliament promised to intervene in the matter.