Parliament has summoned Microfinance Support Centre (MSC) bosses to explain their refusal to hand over Shs7bn to teachers SACCO.
Appearing before Parliament Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Tuesday to answer audit queries raised in the June 2016 Auditor General’s report, Alex Kakooza , the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Sports revealed that while government took a policy shift in August 2015 to allow teachers funds to be managed and channeled through their SACCO, MSC has refused to hand over Shs7bn to the SACCO over unclear circumstances.
In 2013/2014 budget, government pledged Shs25b for the teachers SACCO, which funds were meant to disbursed in five years with the aim of improving teachers’ welfare.
Consequently, a total of Shs9.3bn was disbursed to Microfinance in 2014/2015.
MSC had issued out Shs2bn to the teachers when the two bodies agreed to have the remaining Shs7.63bn remitted to the teachers SACCO for better management, but MSC has since refused to remit the monies to the Teachers SACCO. The Microfinance Support Centre Ltd is headed by John Peter Mujuni is as the Executive Director.
Auditor General, John Muwanga said MSC has failed to provide accountability and record of service, leaving uncertainty on how the funds have been utilized.
Angelline Osegge, put the Ministry of Education bosses to task to explain why the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two bodies still exist, yet Government took a policy shift over the matter.
Ministry officials told Parliament that despite repeated communications to have MSC remit the money to the Teachers SACCO, the entity has refused to heed to the request.
Aggrey Kibenge, Under Secretary Ministry of Education said: “The MoU had provisions of termination, but when we sought advice from the Solicitor General the consequences were that Microfinance had already disbursed money they had identified and terminating the contract would present difficulties in collecting.”
Osegge rejected the explanation arguing that the disbursed funds should have been recovered three years down the road because the MoU provided for the teachers paying back the monies within three year.
Ministry noted that terminating the MoU would have adversely affected the operations of Microfinance.
After the heated debate, Mathias Mpugga, the Masaka Municipality convinced fellow MPs to summon MSC officials to come and explain why they are holding onto teachers’ money illegally.