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Mistaken 16 Million Shillings Deposit Leads to Pensioner’s Financial Woes

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mistaken 16 million shillings deposit leads to pensioners financial woes
mistaken 16 million shillings deposit leads to pensioners financial woes
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James Isabirye, a 62-year-old pensioner from Kamuli district local government, is tasked with repaying a sum of 16 million Shillings that was mistakenly deposited into his account during the 2021/2022 financial year. This discovery emerged during a confrontation between Kamuli District local government officials and lawmakers from the local government public accounts committee.

An audit inquiry uncovered an overpayment of 17.4 million Shillings to three pensioners, with 16 million Shillings mistakenly credited to Isabirye’s account.

Prossy Kasiko, the principal human resource officer of Kamuli District, acknowledged her approval of the overpayment, which was subsequently sanctioned by the chief administrative officer, Tappy Namulondo. Kasiko clarified that Isabirye had pension arrears of 1.2 million Shillings, but due to a clerical error, he received 16 million Shillings instead.

Efforts were made to approach Isabirye and request the return of the excess funds, but he had already invested the money in his personal business ventures, with no other available income sources. Isabirye argued that when he received the money in his account, he believed it was a token of appreciation from the government for his 38 years of dedicated service without access to fringe benefits.

He also pointed out that the district had been delayed in remitting his pension fees for two years, and the lump sum payment was a welcome relief.

Namulondo highlighted that Isabirye’s monthly pension was 114,000 Shillings, and only half of it could be deducted from his account each month, leaving no immediate option for recovering the money. Noah Mutebi, acting PAC chairperson and Nakasongola MP, raised questions about why the accounting officers did not block the transaction for seven days, given their awareness of the mistake, before Isabirye withdrew the funds.

Mutebi directed investigators to explore the possibility of collusion between Isabirye and the accounting officers to defraud the government, considering his age and inability to repay the funds.

Mutebi also announced that committee members would collaborate with various government agencies to investigate ways of recovering the lost funds from the implicated accounting officers, aiming to prevent future fraud incidents.