Igg Orders Rea Staff To Refund Stolen Money

Igg orders rea staff to refund stolen money
Appeared in The Daily Monitoron 26 Jul 2019

The Inspector General of Government (IGG) has ordered officials from the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), the government entity tasked with the responsibility of extending access to electricity in rural areas, to refund more than Shs23m, which they were accused of embezzling.

The IGG also ordered the executive director, Mr Godfrey Turyahikayo, to pay for the repairs of a government vehicle that he was involved in an accident but outside official schedule.

The IGG directive is contained in a June 26 letter addressed to Mr Robert Kasande, the chairperson Board of Directors of REA.

REA has been in the eye of the storm in the recent months. In May, the board informed Mr Turyahikayo that his contract would not be renewed. This caused a flurry of exchanges and eventually President Museveni reined in, giving the boss another one year.

In the same recommendation, the President tasked the executive director to ensure recruitments are done in accordance with the human resource manual of the agency.

Allegations

A whistle-blower had petitioned the office of the IGG alleging that the agency was riddled with various allegations of corruption, embezzlement and flouting of the PPDA Act, guidelines and regulations.

Among those implicated in the corruption scandal were Mr Medard Muganzi, who was accused of submitting false accountabilities totalling to Shs10.7m as part of the accountability for Shs30.7m advanced to him to organise capacity building trainings/ workshops.

Ms Patricia Nakku Kawagga, another official was also implicated for submitting false accountabilities totalling to Shs13.6m as part of Shs33.8m advanced to her for workshops.

The whistle-blower also faulted Mr Turyahikayo for passing on a bill for the repair of a vehicle he was involved in an accident outside the official work schedule.

According to the whistle-blower, Mr Turyahikayo was travelling with his wife and others when the accident happened in Rukungiri District.

The vehicle was repaired by Summer Auto Garage and an invoice of Shs23.2m was presented to REA for clearance.

However, according to Mr Kisembo Mukisa Edmund, the acting managing director of Summer Auto Garage, and Mr Lutwama Ahmed, the mechanic, who received the vehicle after the accident, no payment has been made to date.

The petition to the IGG also indicated that Ms Emily Mbabazi was irregularly recruited as head procurement and Disposal Unit by the REA Selection Committee because she did not possess the required work experience for the post at the time of appointment.

It is also alleged that contractors played a lead role in conducting Factory Assessment Tests where they had an interest.

After thorough investigations, the IGG ordered those implicated in embezzlement of the funds to refund the money with immediate effect.

“Mr Medard Muganzi and Ms Patricia Nakku Kawagga should refund Shs10,722,900 and Shs13,566,900 respectively to the IGG Asset Recovery Account number 003030088000007 within ninety (90) days of issue of this report.

“Failure to refund the said money will result in their prosecution,” part of the recommendation reads. The IGG also ordered Mr Godfrey Turyahikayo to “personally pay Summer Auto Garage Shs23,163,400 for the repairs carried out on the vehicle after the accident’’.

The executive director was also tasked to come up with a policy guiding the use of vehicles and ensure recruitment of staff for REA is always transparently done.