By Andrew Irumba
Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has Monday afternoon grilled Pius Bigirimana, the Permanent Secretary to the Judiciary, who was tasked to produce accountability for billions of shillings spent by the Judiciary between 2017 and 2019.
Legislators on PAC, which is chaired by Nathan Nandala Mafabi, tasked Bigirimana to table reconciled bank statements for all transactions undertaken by the Judiciary between the Financial Years 2016/2017-2018/2019.
However, Bigirimana, who replaced former PS Kagole Kivumbi after he was indicted a few months ago over corruption allegations, told PAC that he should not be crucified for the mistakes that were committed by people who were in his current office before him.
Bigirimana told PAC members that “What I can do is get details from the Chief Registrar of those courts that have not submitted their statements of accounts and give them a time frame within which to do so, OE sanction them if they fail to comply.”
He However added that “I would like to request you that since these people are live and there, you could invite them hear to answer some of these questions. I can’t be responsible for all that.”
Trouble at the Judiciary started after former PS Kivumbi failed to account for over Shs32Bn that was spent during the period under review.
When Kivumbi failed to account for the billions, PAC unearthed more financial rot at the Judiciary, which prompted president Yoweri Museveni to fire Kivumbi on July 26, 2019, whom he replaced with Bigirimana.
Some of the funds Kivumbi failed to account for includes; Shs800m which was returned to his office by the Judiciary’s transport Department, plus Shs841m which had been retained at the end of FY 2017/2018. There is also Shs38Bn which was spent in allowances, Shs914m which was spent on cash in transit, plus cash at hand under interest Shs2.4Bn.
Mafabi had earlier on tasked the Judiciary team to avail PAC with the names of recipients of the money, bank accounts,and reconciled bank statements which they are yet to avail.
The Committee has since given Bigirimana and his team until Friday this week to table the required statement of accounts.