KAMPALA – Legislators on the Committee of Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) were left furious after top officials from the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) snubbed the meeting and instead sent a representative without prior notice to Parliament.
The committee was on Monday, December 9 supposed to hold a meeting with the NEMA management on issues surrounding the management of the environment fund, issuance of clearance certificate to wetlands, sand mining and growing of rice in wetlands among others.
However, to their dismay, the Executive Director of NEMA Tom Okurut and his deputy Christine Akello absconded from the meeting and only sent a representative without a formal written communication by the names of Dr. Daniel Babikwa who is the Director District Support Coordinator.
Babikwa informed the committee that Okurut was out of the country and that his deputy was attending a staff workshop in the Mbarara district.
The revelation angered MPs who insisted that the meeting could not go on without the accounting officer of the Authority hence the chairperson of the committee Mubaraka Munyagwa noted that the NEMA management was taking the committee for granted.
Nathan Itungo (Kashari South County) wondered why the government entities and authorities are so quick at appearing before parliament to present their budget requests but when it comes to accountability issues, these play hide and seek games.
The Committees then agreed to have the NEMA officials appear on Wednesday with directives to have the Authority present before Parliament a list of their staff and their salary structure together with criteria followed as they increase their salaries.