16 November 2018

Uganda: Thieves in Govt Hiding Cash At Home - Kasaija

Kampala — Finance minister Matia Kasaija on wednesday dropped a bombshell, revealing he is aware of people in government who have stashed away huge sums of stolen money in their homes.

Mr Kasaija also said he is aware of people who have pinched billion of shillings from their own companies and are piling the huge sums at home.

The minister, who was addressing accountants during the financial reporting (FIRE) awards in Kampala said: "I have known people who have stolen even in their own private companies. Somebody was telling me people keep billions of shillings in their houses; what if thieves break in the house or if it catches fire?" he lamented.

Syndicated corruption has become a way of life in both private and government offices, but Mr Kasaija's rare public confession becomes the first by a government minister that the ill-gotten wealth has now found their hideout in homes.

Mr Kasaija warned young accountants against corruption, saying many are eager to become rich illegitimately.

Despite several established anti-corruption agencies, none appears to have the nerve to bell the cats.

Ray of hope

The only remaining ray of hope, appears to be the tougher sanctions that the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) is beginning to impose on fake accountants and those who falsify accounts to conceal fraud.

Speaking at the awards, MR Frederick Kibedi, the president ICPAU, said they are beginning to publish names of fake accountants, those who have been subjected to disciplinary processes and each case will have consequences, including deregistration and incarceration.

"We mean it. The 2013 Accountants Act mandates us to kick out those occupying spaces of accountants illegally. We shall deal with accountants especially those who sign off falsified accounts," he firmly warned.

Mr Stephen Ineget, the chairman of the FIRE Awards committee, said FIRE awards seek to check corporate governance in participating companies by interrogating the roles the governing boards, the management and administration and those played by heads of department towards the overall governance of the companies.

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) won this year's award because of producing an easily understandable report using simple graphics that lay people can understand.


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