Hon. John Amos Okot (NRM, Agago North County) presenting the committee report to Parliament on Thursday,
Parliament has adopted a report of the Public Accounts Committee (Central Government) in which it recommended that the Netball and Boxing Federations refund all monies received but unaccounted for, within six months.
The committee investigations into the two federations unearthed a repetitive trend of forged accountabilities affirming the discoveries within 2021/2022 Auditor General’s Report.
The committee reported that the President of Uganda Netball Federation presented accountabilities of Shs139 million spent on a tournament in Namibia, but later disowned the documents, after the committee’s interactions with the Secretary General for National Council of Sports (NCS) over the same.
“Whereas the President admitted that she had paid for accommodation of 27 players and officials in Namibia for which she had submitted full accountability, she later denied having submitted any accountability documents, when the secretary general produced original documents submitted by her,” said Hon, John Amos Okot (NRM, Agago North County) while presenting the report.
He said the committee further discovered a letter from Namibia Netball Pent Series Tournament, showing that Namibia was to cover all costs on accommodation for the Ugandan team for which the Uganda Netball Federation accounted for.
Okot presented PAC findings during the plenary sitting presided over by Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa, on Thursday, 19 October 2023.
The committee therefore called on Uganda Police through Interpol to investigate the authenticity of the accountability documents from Namibia, and prosecute the responsible officers for forgery, embezzlement and abuse of office.
In a similar development, the committee discovered forged documents by the Boxing Federation amounting to Shs8.9 million, for which the committee recommended a refund.
“The Auditor General noted that suspicious accountabilities worth Shs5.4 million were submitted by Uganda Boxing Federation for catering services from Ready Market Agencies Ltd. A follow up by the committee with the telephone numbers on the receipts presented revealed that the service provider wasn’t aware of any transaction between them and Uganda Boxing Federation. The service provider further confirmed that they do not offer catering services,” said Okot.
The Boxing federation is also accused of authoring forged accountability documents for Shs3.5 miilion meant for the hire of tents, chairs and tables.
“This was found to be false after the service provider denied receipts from the federation. The proprietors of Ready Market Agencies could not explain the receipts presented as theirs and upon probing, the former federation accountant, Ms. Namuleme Agnes admitted to forging the accountability,” Akot said.
The committee called on NCS to strengthen the capacity of federations in accountability cognizant that a number of them lacked the capacity to have their books audited.
PAC also cautioned NCS against operating informally with federations without binding frameworks, saying disbursing public funds to unrecognized institutions will continuously pose challenges with accountability of the sports funds.
MPs observed that Parliament and government at large have significantly demonstrated support towards the sports sector and called on NCS to strengthen its supervisory role over federations.
“In the sports bill we gave NCS enough power to govern federations, let it come up with guidelines on accountability upon which federations shall be subjected,” noted Hon. Elijah Mushemeza (Ind. Sheema County South).
Hon. Robert Kasolo (NRM, Iki-Iki County) asked that the committee report drops the recommendation on the Netball Federation which he said is being investigated by the Inspector General of Government (IGG).
The Deputy Speaker however guided that the committee considered the Auditor General’s report to draw its recommendation as its mandate which does not cover the office of the IGG.