Police fails to account for 153 vehicles

In the run-up to the 2016 general elections, Uganda Police Force was given Shs 42.9bn to buy operational and specialised vehicles that the force wanted to effectively police the electoral process.

However, an audit report by the Auditor General John Muwanga published two years later says, the vehicles cannot be traced.

The Shs 42.9bn bill was in excess of more than Shs 1.17bn of the actual amount (Shs 41.7bn) that the police had requested for.

This money was meant to buy 113 operational vehicles and 40 specialised vehicles which the police chiefs are failing to show proof of purchase.

The Auditor General indicated in his report that the police received all the money but since there is no evidence that the vehicles were procured, it is possible that they were never bought.

Before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Rogers Muhiirwe the Undersecretary of the Police tried to convince MPs that the vehicles were procured but could not provide documentary evidence.

MPs Mathias Mpuuga (Masaka Municipality), Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga) and Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo Municipality) put Muhiirwe on the spot and when he couldn’t explain any further, he asked the committee to question the director of Logistics and Engineering AIGP Godfrey Bangirana.

Without any convincing explanation, Karuhanga who chaired the session threatened to hold the police bosses until they have produced proof of procurement.

After a long wait, Muhiirwa received more files from the police headquarters upon which he told the committee that they could not give details because the vehicles were procured under classified expenditure.

“Vehicles were procured under classified expenditure and therefore couldn’t be availed to the auditors,” Muhiirwe said, drawing more questions from the MPs but Muhiirwe insisted.

“The vehicles were budgeted for under normal expenditure but actual procurement was done under classified expenditure,” Muhiirwe said.

“We have been buying vehicles and motorcycles but have not been getting money to repair them,” Bangirana added.

But auditors from the Auditor General’s office disputed Muhiirwe’s explanation saying that there’s no way they could have raised the audit query when the procurement was under classified expenditure.