KOBOKO. The Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) members have referred two Koboko district officials to the criminal investigations department (CID) of police for allegedly failing to remit funds to lower local councils and Koboko district in 2015.
Mr David Otokira Afayo, the then Ludara sub-county chief and his accounts assistant, Mr Tom Angutoko were committed to CID during a regional PAC sitting in Arua town on Wednesday.
The committee is in West Nile to dig out accountability from the nine districts of the region in which sub-county authorities were also tasked to account for their funds.
Basing on the auditor general’s report of June 30, 2015, Mr Otokira who was the then Ludara sub-county chief is said to have refused to remit a total of shs19, 100, 403 local revenue both to the lower local and district councils.
While appearing before the committee chaired by Jonam county MP, Mr Emmanuel Ongiertho, Mr Otokira said he was overwhelmed by the budget that bound his administration in the process.
He added that the then budget which was approved by a council comprising of expenditure of shs1.5m per month, proved to be overwhelming to fund the sub-county projects hence he looked for priorities first.
Otokira also claimed that their failure to remit the revenue shares to lower local councils was due to lack of functional lower local council structures.
He added that the management chose to use the revenue shares for paying 10% co-funding for implementing projects in the communities, which he did not specify.
"Low local revenue collection coupled with a responsibility to co-found for developmental projects left an overwhelming burden on management to fund recurrent activities of the sub-county thus contributing to non-remittance of the full amount of revenue shares to the district and the lower councils" Mr Otokira's responded.
But the duo was caught off guard when Ms Rehema Wantongo, the Kamuli municipality MP demanded to know whether their refusal to remit funds on grounds that the sub-county was overwhelmed by budget is a provision in the Law.
In addition, the two failed to adduce evidence to prove that the sub-county was by then overwhelmed by budget as they claimed.
Their action prompted Mr Ongiertho to refer them to CID officials attached to the committee for further interrogation.
Mr Ongiertho said actions to be taken against Otokira and Angutoko will be based on the CID report, warning that if found guilty, they will either be forced to refund the money or be imprisoned for their actions.
Mr Otokira, however, regretted the mistake and promised to improve if given the chance.