By Moses Alinda

ARUA: There was verbal exchange of bitter words between politicians from West Nile sub region and appointed civil servants on Wednesday during the PAC Plenary in Arua city when Arua district failed to account for the money for the FY 2020/2021.

Bitter words started as a joke when the RDC Arua district Owanyi George accused the leadership of Arua and West Nile region at large as a well-known region in corruption.

The statement stressed mixed reactions on a number of members of parliament within the region.

George Bhoka the MP Obongi Constituency in Obongi district asked the PAC committee chairperson who is the Badege-Layib division Member of Parliament Martin Ojara Mapenduzi to ask the Arua district RDC to withdraw his statement tarnishing the name of westnilers.

Bhoka further said there are very many leaders within west nile who are on record for having fought corruption and are doing the great work in serving the nation.

He warned the RDC from generalizing west nile leaders on corruption issues.

The Woman Member of Parliament for Arua district Lilian Paparu also said that the West Nile people are welcoming and such a statement is an insult to West Nile.

She further said westnile has been working with Chief Administrative Officers from other regions who are not lugbars meaning saying that the statements makes west nile people look like they are very bad and cannot work with people.

Feta Geoffrey, the MP Ayivu East constituency observed that it is a system failure but not individuals who have caused most of the sagas leading to corrupt tendencies in some west nile districts.

However, Mapenduzi defended the statement and warned Arua District leadership of the formation of cliques that cripple service delivery in the district.

He said Lugbara people have created cliques basing on tribal sentiments

The auditor general was not availed with evidence that the district submitted wage estimates to MoPs as required.

The district failed to absorb wage funds worth UGX.2.14 billion and the funds were swept back into the consolidated fund account at year end.

The district made over payments of UGX.17, 088,304 various pensioners.

The auditor noted that UGX.10, 115,392 was paid to 15 staff that neither appeared on the IPPS payroll register nor had the necessary documentation in their personal files to support their existence.

The auditor also noted that 58 employees were paid salaries above their applicable salary band resulting in overpayments totaling UGX.37,427,696 while 6 employees were paid salaries below their applicable salary band resulting in underpayments totaling UGX.2,441,988.

The District wrongly computed gratuity benefits for 01 pensioners that resulted in an overpayment of UGX.17,088,304.

The auditor noted that UGX.66,918,755 was paid to 49 staff who had either retired, transferred, absconded or died.

The district over and under remitted payroll deductions worth UGX.246,912,350 and UGX.201,704,458 due to wrong coding in the system

The auditor noted that the District made unauthorized loan deductions totaling UGX.386, 522,646.

The deductions were from 419 employees that neither had letters of undertaking nor existed in the “active deduction” or the “my approval” reports

The auditor further noted that loan deductions relating to 16 (sixteen) employees did not have evidence of consent by the employees.

The District made PAYE deductions of UGX UGX.314, 021,935 for the month of February 2021, but did not remit to URA as required

The auditor noted that the District did not subject political leaders’ gratuity totaling to UGX.105,792,166 to the computation of PAYE in IPPS, leading to an under deduction of UGX.33,858,520, contrary to section 19(1) (a) of the Income Tax Act and also noted that 58 pensioners delayed to access the pension payroll during the year.

The auditor noted that un qualifying funds amounting to UGX.52, 328,174 were charged on account codes prescribed for salary, pension and gratuity.

He also noted that 29 employees were paid a total of UGX.51,348,377 without signed pay change reports.

I noted that 1,302 staff were paid a total of UGX. 3,048,993,948 off the IPPS that arose from wrong coding of Arua DLG staff under Madi-Okollo DLG payroll arising from the separation of the payroll following the creation of Madi-Okollo district.

The budget of Arua DLG was not adjusted/collapsed following the issuance of the supplementary budgets to the new local governments.

Consequently, the budget of Arua DLG for the year under review is unrealistic.

Further, activities meant to be undertaken by the new local governments were undertaken by Arua DLG for example the payment of general staff salaries totaling UGX.6,397,754,797 for Terego DLG staff and UGX.8,348,159,119 for Arua city staff among others.

In 2018 Arua district was ranked second corrupt district in Uganda and in 2019 it took the 3rd slot according to the daily monitor of July 25th 2019.

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