MPs detain Ministry official over Akii-Bua stadium funds

Members of Parliament have expressed displeasure over the mismanagement of funds disbursed by the Ministry of Education and Sports towards the construction of the Akii-Bua Memorial Stadium in Lira.

The team led by the Commissioner for Physical Education in the National Council of Sports (NCS) Lameck Omara Apita, was queried as to why no work had been done commensurate to the Shs640million disbursed towards the construction of the sports structure.

MPs on the Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE), chaired by Hon. Anita Among (IND, Bukedea), on Tuesday, 30 November 2018, tasked the NCS officials to follow up on the trail of expenditure of money disbursed towards the development of the stadium.

"The Commission at National Council of Sports should interest itself in what the money has done on the stadium so far. I suggest we ask Hon. Charles Bakkabulindi to make a formal statement on this matter when the House resumes sittings," said Hon. Peter Ogwang (NRM, Usuk County).

MPs also wondered why rightful channels of project implementation were not followed, blaming it for the questionable expenditure of over shs600 million already disbursed to the stadium's construction, according to a report received by the Committee.

"From today, all necessary offices must be involved in the construction because the issue of bypassing the rightful people to handle the money and disburse it without monitoring leaves many questions," said Kasilo County MP Elijah Okupa, adding that, "The Minister ought to come and clear the air on this matter."

The Committee Chairperson, Hon. Anita Among, castigated Omara and his team for failure to involve the necessary Government bodies such as the District Local Government in the finical disbursements and implementation of construction works on the stadium.

“It is important to involve the National Council of Sports since you are not the one to implement,” Hon. Among said, adding that “You are a policy maker but when you want to do everything by yourself, you act with impunity.”
She also blamed the team for failure to account for the money disbursed towards the project as well as undermining the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets (PPDA) law, and directed that the Commissioner be investigated by the Criminal Investigations Division of Police (CID) to trace the necessary documents for accountability.

According to a report received by the Parliamentary Committee, the money disbursed was aimed at building an access road to the stadium as well as complete works on temporary playgrounds, which had not been worked upon, with only a pavilion erected.

It also indicates that money was disbursed in installments for works on the sports complex, with shs400 million, shs150 million and shs90 million distributed in the financial year 2015/2016, to cater for among others, project monitoring.
On 23 October 2018, Ajuri County MP Hon. Hamson Obua and Kwania County MP Hon. Tony Ayoo wrote to President Yoweri Museveni, requesting for a progressive report on the construction of Akii-Bua Memorial Stadium in Lira. The letter reminds the President that over shs600 million had been remitted towards the project since the financial year 2016/2017.