Opinion: Keith is in 2 billion pickle shillings

““As you are aware on the 28th February 2020 this Ministry transferred USD 600,000 to the Uganda mission in Beijing to support the affected students,” Keith wrote in a letter dated March 10, 2020. “However upon receipt of the cabinet extract, we noted that there is discrepancy between the amounts therein and that stated in the letter from Ministry of Education and Sports.” The letter directs the accountant to return 538,200 USD (1.997 billion Shillings)” (Edge.ug – ‘Uganda erroneously sends Shs2bn to students in China’ 11.03.2020).

Someone has had a bad ending of February 2020, maybe the Ministry of Finance, Planning, Economic and Development (MoFPED) Permanent Secretary Keith Muhakanizi suddenly seen the boo-boo done by someone. There was someone who didn’t due their due diligence, when the state signed off the amount of money sent from a government account over to the Chinese Embassy.

They clearly don’t have the protocol of two people checking the accounts, if they did then one brother would call out the other one. The second brother would say, “hey man, isn’t that more than what where supposed to go there and isn’t this wrong, sir?”. The Permanent Secretary Muhakanizi should clearly implement this. So, that two people have to sign-off transactions made on public accounts, because then they might save the humiliation of letter writing to a embassy asking for the return of the added US Dollars.

This is why you have check-points on spending and especially government spending. Since, this is money that supposed to be spent on the public and services made for the citizens. If this is for diplomatic work, help citizens and such. This is why, the transparency and the accountability is so important. That tenders, transactions and procurement done by the government and its organizations are done properly and through standards. However, we know that is not the case.

The person behind this transaction, surely has signed it off somewhere. They tend to be imprinted on the accounts, the rights to send or transfer funds and has put in the documentation to do so. That guy should answer for this. The Permanent Secretary looks like a dumb-dumb, but it might be either someone higher up the food-chain or a knuckle-head down in the Ministry who messed up. Nobody caught a whiff off it, until they saw their account had less shillings in it.

However, that is also a scary thing. Considering the 11 days it took to catch up on the movement of the unaccounted funds. The massive load of 2 billion shillings gone missing. It had a destination, but surely not intended there. MoFPED surely needs new guidelines and mechanisms to stop this. Unless, they are doing more of it and it doesn’t go public. Like a new type of Presidential Handshakes and kickbacks for public servants. This is why, the MoFPED doesn’t have the security checks before any transaction from the public accounts. Peace.

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