PARLIAMENT– Legislators on the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament have grilled officials from the office of the President demanding to know the whereabouts of the two cars which Pope Francis used during his visit to Uganda in 2015.
According to the Auditor general’s report for the financial year 2015/16 the office of the President liaised with the Ministry of Works and Transport and procured two cars which cost 322M shillings but during the time of audit the cars could not be traced and they were not registered in the ministry’s asset records.
Members of Parliament sitting on the committee tasked the officials from the office of the president to provide evidence of the two vehicles and where they are currently kept and the evidence should be produced to the committee by the Acting Permanent secretary office of the president Willis Bashasha, said the vehicles were registered in 2017 after two years of the Pope’s visit which raised concern among the MPs.
Recently, African bishops under their umbrella body, the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), and the Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC), the assembly of Catholic leaders, in the media said that Pope Francis was expected to revisit Uganda again.
Bashasha told MPs that the cars are currently being used by the office of the president for other duties.
Kalungu West Member of Parliament Joseph Gonzaga Ssewungu said that there is a need to investigate whether the pope didn’t come with his own cars.
He also noted that such cars should have been put in be in the museum for purposes of the tourist attraction than being used by the office of the president.
However, the Acting permanent secretary office of president Willis Bashasha noted that they need the policy to preserve items.