The Accountability Sector Soroti Regional Accountability Forum has ended with a call for leaders, duty bearers and stakeholders to observe accountability for the betterment of service delivery in Teso.
The accountability cluster for Teso region graced over by Hon Matia Kasaija, Finance Minister drew members from the Civil Society fraternity, political leaders, duty bearers and security operatives who deliberated on how to achieve value for money.
The activity started with a procession across Soroti Town on Monday to showcase commitment by government; stakeholders to fight corruption by strengthening accountability measures.
Site visits were also conducted in Katakwi, Amuria and Bukedea districts by Teso Anticorruption coalition (TAC) and officials from the ministry of finance to ascertain a feel of the appalling state of the stalled government projects.
Among the sites visited are Magoro sub county headquarters, Katakwi community hall, Eluru Memorial secondary school, Kasoka P/S, Bukedea Sub County, Koceka HCII, Kajamaka P/S.
Hon Matia Kasaija, minister for finance in his speech said stealing money meant for projects that have direct bearing on the local man’s survival, adding that in such situations those who feel cheated will possibly rebel against those in authority.
The main celebrant, Mr Kasaija said through such accountability forums, the government is committed to raise public awareness and participation in the fight against corruption by taking advantage of the whistle blowers act.
“As result there has been improvement in corruption handling with more cases of people being prosecuted, increased number of targeted investigations,” He explained.
( participants at the accountability sector Soroti accountability forum)
Mr Kasaija asked duty bearers to take care of the public good and in return theirs will be taken care of both by society and the country.
Minister applauds TAC
Mr Kasaija applauded Teso Anticorruption Coalition (TAC) for their excellent work done; he said the work done by TAC is visible, saying if he had the honour he would move around the country with them to showcase their work.
The minister said that he finds resonance in the work of TAC as an organization, saying this is backed by the increased numbers of corruption related cases reported to IGG and increased awareness among the citizens on matters of raising corruption related cases to responsible authorities.
“TAC please go on and check whether the job being done is worth the money being sent for the projects they are intended for,” the minister appealed.
Public Finance management act 2015
Mr Kasaija informed the participants that parliament recently passed public finance management act 2015 that holds civil servants in trust of public funds liable for poor service delivery.
He also affirmed never to relent on any accounting officer that fails to account for state funds.
Still on the said act, the minister said the act is out to help restore the credibility for the national budget, parliamentary oversight, saying cases where money has been lost and never recovered will be minimized.
Mr Kasaija said the accountability forums will help empower citizen to engage government on public policy making and demand accountability on service delivery.
He confirmed that the ideas from such forums will be incorporated in the strategic national plan with aim of achieving national development for 2021. (Officails from the ministry of finance and TAC staff , Katakwi acting district engineer at the site of the collapsed community hall)
Mr Flibert Ocailap, RDC Katakwi district told the minister that some projects had stalled because as district they had no oversight duties over the project design and equally ignorant about the money allocated.
The RDC appealed to the minister to streamline measures through which the district technical persons can better handle and ensure that value for money injected in such projects can benefit the people.
The two day Accountability Sector Soroti Regional Accountability was held under the theme “Developing strategic partnership for enhanced accountability transparent and effective service delivery,”