Basalirwa speaks out on the ongoing arrests of Federation Presidents

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David GOMBE

Hon. Asuman Basalirwa and the Committee on Public Accounts (Central Government) chairman has elaborated on the arrests of the Uganda Boxing Federation President Moses Muhangi and Sarah Babirye Kityo of Netball.

Muhangi was on Thursday remanded to Luzira Prison by the Nakawa Court Chief Magistrate Ritah Neumbe Kidasa until May 31st, 2023 for forgery, uttering false documents and misappropriation.

Babirye on the hand was arrested on Monday before being released on Wednesday on charges of obtaining Shs16M by falsely pretending to take people to the USA.

According to Basalirwa the matter is not about witch-hunting but as the Public Accounts Committee they base on the report of the auditor general to subject individuals on the issues regarding accountability.

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“When the auditor general raises issues of accountability over someone, then that individual is given a chance to come defend himself or her to the public accounts committee.”

“So, If anybody is talking about witch-hunt, he should talk about the auditor general who produces the report that is submitted to parliament and eventually we begin.” Said Basalirwa

Basalirwa on why National Council of Sports General Secretary Dr.Patrick Ogwel is yet to face the same consequences as Muhangi and Babirye

“We don’t have the mandate to bring someone to book when is not in the auditor general’s report and whoever is mentioned will be subjected to our Committee. We don’t audit and they are two things here, you don’t confuse accountability and management issues. The two are different, there will be other sectoral Committees at Parliament that deal with management and for us we will deal with accountability.”

“Even if it is one shilling and the auditor general mentions you then you will be summoned and not just federation presidents but everyone so as the issue is about public money. Once public monies are adversed to you, then you are supposed to account.” If it is witch-hunt it can only come from the auditor general not national council.” Said Basalirwa.

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Basalirwa is optimistic that the new sports bill will help to professionalize sports and federations in the country.

“We have had a very big problem with Sports management and administration in this country. That’s is why I and Hon. Moses Magogo and Kayemba Solo sponsored a private members bill called the sports bill.”

“We brought it because we found a very big problem in sports administration and management in this country. Forexample, there’s no legal framework that governs National Council and Federations, most of the Federations operate like kiosks in town and that’s why we brought up that law.”

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“There’s no legal connection between national council and Federations yet national council gives them money. Some Federations are brief cased, they don’t have headquarters and yet they receive public money.”

“So we have a lot of hope and expectation in the new law that Parliament passed.”

Basalirwa asserts that they will continue to summon every individual once the issue regards public money. UBF boss Muhangi was sent to Luzira over failure to account for Shs3.5M while Netball failed to account for Shs30M.

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