The rental arrears accumulated to Shillings 321m in 2019 causing MPs on PAC to question the figure since Shillings 182m had been later written off as unsupported. The Legislators are curious about why the rent arrears cannot be conclusively verified. The deputy DPP could not explain how the arrears accumulated.
Members of Parliament on the Public accounts committee
of Parliament have flagged a suspicious record by the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) of Shillings 321m in rental arrears.
The entry is recorded in the
financial statement of the ODPP for the financial year ending June 2019.
According to the deputy DPP, Vincent
Wagona the figure of 321m was brought forward from the previous financial year
with 182m being disputed and written off since the landlord had no evidence to
support the claim. The stock of rental arrears for the Financial Year remained
at 117m following a payment of 21m.
Wagona led a team of officials from
the ODPP before the committee on Thursday to respond to queries in the auditor
general's report for the year ending June 2019.
The ODPP is housed in Workers house
that is owned by the National Social Security Fund -NSSF.
MPs were curious as to how dubious
figures with no supporting documents were entered into the financial statement
of the directorate and were approved by the principal accountant and the
The Mbarara Municipality MP Michael
Tusiime wondered how an item like rent can become a matter of dispute when it
is always clear how much is owed given the length of tenancy. He quizzed the
principal accountant Steven Balisanyuka on whether the rent obligations keep
fluctuating and why rent arrears were not verified conclusively.
//Cue in: “Does rent…………..”
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Balisanyuka told MPs on the committee
that the directorate now occupies two and a half floors of workers house as
well as premises upcountry. He noted that landlords keep adjusting rent upwards
and stated that this is a normal practice by private real estate owners.
He also revealed that the management
of Workers house shifted from the property managers to NSSF in January 2015. When
quizzed on whether or not the department entered into a long term lease he
pointed out that the rent agreement with NSSF is annual. He said the
directorate has a rental agreement with NSSF for the 11th and 12th
floors which was extended to cover a third wing on the 7th floor
hence an increase in rent.
Balisanyuka however distanced
himself from the entry noting that it was his predecessor who made the record.
He said he couldn’t immediately provide an answer as to how and why the rent
//Cue in: “Of course before……………..”
Cue out: “…………………. I can get the
According to Balisanyuka the ODDP in
Kampala has a rental bill of 335m per quarter.
The chairperson of the committee
MP Nandala Mafabi argued that there must be in existence a ledger detailing rental
records and running balances depending on amounts paid.
He noted that such unsupported and
inflated domestic arrears had been rampant in government ministries and
departments until the Finance ministry hired a private audit firm to verify
MP Nandala Mafabi has asked the team
from the ODPP to avail the committee with the ledger that contains a record of
rental payments to NSSF since 2010 to date.