KAMPALA – The Public Accounts Committee – PAC of Uganda’s Parliament on May 15, 2023 handed over two officials of the local boxing governing body to Police’s Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department – CIID for interrogation on allegations of forgery and misappropriation of public funds.
The officials including the Boxing Federation boss, Moses Muhangi and the former accountant, Lydia Namuleme were handed to CIID for further management on allegations of forgery, uttering false documents and misappropriation – after National Council of Sports Chairperson – Ambrose Tashobya had told the PAC under the chairmanship of Asuman Basalirwa how various local sports governing bodies were adamant in accounting for funds extended to them.
Tashobya, told the committee on May 15, 2023 that some sports federations had stubbornly refused to submit accountability reports to the Council as required by the law.
PAC urged the NCS to tighten the grip on the local sports governing bodies to ensure compliance with the law.
NCS is required to coordinate all sports activities in the country – including managing and approving expenditures of sports federations. Currently-NCS has 51 sports federations under its supervision.
“It is our wish that all these federations receive and spend money in a manner, which fits within the law so that they can come back for more – but there is a high level of adamancy from some of the federations claiming we are overburdening them with accountability,” said Tashobya citing Uganda Boxing Federation – UBF and Uganda Netball Federation – UNF as some of the major culprits.
Section 50 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2015 requires that accounting officers shall prepare and submit half-year financial statements to the Accountant General by 15 February of each financial year.
NCS General Secretary, Dr Bernard Patrick Ogwel, said their efforts to remind sports federations to submit their accountability reports have not been very fruitful and consequently, the council is considering withholding and reallocating funds meant for such defiant federations.
“It is not proper to give a federation more funds when it has failed to account for the funds in the previous financial year…However, we are doing everything possible to strengthen our collaboration with these federations,” said Dr Ogwel.
The committee advised the sports body to invoke their supervisory powers by raising the bar high on the operations of sports federations to enhance public accountability.
“As the supervising entity, you must come up with a strong position on accountability. You should continue to create an avenue for these federations to meet the minimum requirements so that the issue of accountability is not a question of pleading,” said Fredrick Angura.
To resolve the dilemma, the committee’s deputy chairperson, Hon. Asuman Basalirwa, advised that NCS signs a Memorandum of Understanding – MoU with the federations before disbursing funds.
However, he warned NCS against suffocating the activities of sports federations that have not submitted their accountability. He further proposed that the council bypasses such federations and deals directly with service providers for the continuity of the activities.
“Nobody should be disadvantaged because of the misdeeds of an individual or federation president. In the meantime, NCS should engage directly with the service provider,” said Basalirwa.
During the same meeting, the committee handed the President of Uganda Boxing Federation, Moses Muhangi and the former accountant, Namuleme, to the Parliament Police Criminal Investigations Department for further management on allegations of forgery, uttering false documents and misappropriation.
The development came barely days after the President of Uganda Netball Federation -Sarah Kityo was handed over to Police for interrogation on almost similar charges – a feat that reportedly followed a heated meeting at State House I which she was forced to step aside to pave the way for investigations.
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