A CID officer leads away the chairperson of Ntinda New Market, Mr Wilson Bikangaga (R), after he failed to answer questions about the special audit report on the missing funds. The arrest followed orders from PAC, who claimed the market boss gave conflicting stories
Mr Jackson Sabila,he head of Finance at Microsoft Support Centre, is said to have received money meant for Ntinda market vendors but he refused to sign a voucher for it.
A senior accountant of a government department has disappeared with more than Shs100 million released under the presidential project to support small businesses.
A key witness in the Shs10 billion scam told Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee yesterday that the head of Finance at Microsoft Support Centre (MSC), Mr Jackson Sabila, received Shs106 million meant for Ntinda market vendors.
The money in question is part of the Shs10 billion that President Museveni promised vendors and other small business people in the run up to the 2011 polls but is believed to have been swindled by bureaucrats at the MSC in connivance with politicians and the Ministry of Finance officials.
The chairperson of the Sacco, Mr Wilson Bikangaga, who appeared before PAC to testify on what has become the market cash scam, said Mr Sabila instructed him to withdraw the money and later called him to Garden City mall basement, where he handed him Shs106 million.
“He [Mr Sabila] called me after I withdrew the money but when he refused to sign the voucher, I smelt a rat,” Mr Bikangaga said, adding: “I did not want to cause commotion when he refused to sign, claiming that there was no need to do so.” He told PAC that it was an oversight on his part that he took long to blow the whistle until the auditors raised queries.
While this money was supposed to form a Revolving Fund where vendors could access affordable working capital at no interest rate, the Auditor General’s report which is before PAC, says former Finance Minister Syda Bbumba and other Finance officials decided to send the money to MSC, where it was abused. Mr Bikangaga added that after MSC credited Saccos, the same officials asked the vendors to withdraw it and take it to them for onward distribution.
Mr Bikangaga read out the suspect’s mobile number but when the Drive Hot tried to dial the number, it was switched off. PAC Chairperson Kassiano Wadri asked police to take statements from Mr Bikangaga and also hunt for the missing accountant. Mr Bikangaga was handed to police after he gave conflicting accounts of the meeting at the mall.