‘Ministry officials asked for 30 per cent in pension scam’

Parliament. Unidentified officials in the Ministry of Finance demanded 30 per cent of the Shs15 billion the lawmakers said was ‘fraudulently’ taken from government coffers, to assist Mr Bob Kasonga, a lawyer named by the judge last week.
The lawmakers investigating the Shs165 billion pension scam told Daily Monitor at the weekend, that Ministry of Finance officials asked for 30 per cent to assist Mr Kasango “siphon” Shs15 billion from the system. The MPs said the evidence is contained in the recordings Justice John Eudes Keitirima, a High Court in Masaka judge, submitted to PAC last Thursday.
“We have listened to the recordings the judge gave us and somewhere, Mr Kasango says some officials in the Ministry of Finance asked for 30 per cent of the pension money,” Mr Gerald Karuhanga, (Youth Western), said.
When contacted, the vice committee chairperson, Mr Paul Mwiru told Daily Monitor at the weekend, that Mr Keith Muhakanizi, the Secretary to the Treasury, and his team must explain the payment of Shs88 billion to NSSF and how they came to raise a supplementary budget for the ghost pensioners. Ministry of Finance officials will also be asked to name the people who shared 30 per cent of the Shs15 billion.
On the Shs15 billion payout to Mr Kasango, Mr Mwiru said: “Compensation is paid by Ministry of Justice not by Ministry of Finance. We would like know how Finance officials came to pay Mr Kasango basing on two letters purported to be from minister Kahinda Otafiire.”
However, Mr Otafiire told Daily Monitor last week that he did not remember writing such letters on behalf of Hall and Partners, a private law firm MPs said is linked to Mr Kasango.
He added: “We would like to know how the Internal Audit in the Ministry of Finance came to authorise the payment of Shs88 billion to NSSF when the law exempts pensioners and another Shs15 billion to Mr Kasango”.
Ministry of Finance officials are expected in PAC today to explain their role in the misappropriation of Shs165 billion payout in pension funds.
When contacted, Mr Jim Mugunga, the Ministry of Finance spokesperson, said he who alleges must prove.
“We are not privy to the alleged recording where a third party is alleged to have solicited for a 30 per cent of the pension money to go to finance. The onus is on whoever made the accusation to prove it,” he said.

Source: Daily Monitor

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