Secretary to Treasury Keith Muhakanizi commits to resign if named as one of the Finance Ministry officials who asked for a 30 percent commission of the money paid to a non-existent law firm in the multibillion pension scam.
The law firm ‘Hall and Partners’ that is linked to city lawyer Bob Kasango was paid 15 billion shillings to defend government in a case filed by over 6000 civil servants challenging their retrenchment in 1992.
In the suit the retrenched employees sought a court order to be paid pension and general damages.
Muhakanizi was reacting to a recording in which Bob Kasango said that some officials in the Finance Ministry asked for a 30 percent commission of the package he received.
The recording was presented before the Public Accounts Committee of parliament by High Court Judge John Eudes Keitirima last week.
Muhakanizi distanced himself from the demand saying he would give up his job in the Ministry if there is proof presented against him on the matter.
He however added that the Ministry would take disciplinary action against any official against whom evidence is presented.
Muhakanizi was appearing before the committee which has revived investigations into the theft of Shs 165bn that was paid out to non- existent pensioners, the payment of Shs 88bn irregularly budgeted as Social Security Benefits, and the payment of Shs 15bn to a ghost Law firm.
The committee took up the matter after reports emerged that CIID messed up the case by submitting two contradicting investigation reports to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) causing slip-ups in the trial.
Nine suspects were charged with masterminding the plunder before the case was dismissed for lack of witnesses.
PAC learnt that over Shs 260bn paid out to ghost pensioners by the Ministry of Public Service was not verified by the Finance Ministry.
Fixon Okonye, the Director Internal Audit said that his office was by-passed on verifying the list of pensioners at the time the payment was made.
Okonye told the committee that his office dealt with collection of bio-data of pension and gratuity recipients but was never consulted on the verification of final payment schedule from the Public Service.
The Accountant General Lawrence Ssemakula said the Finance Ministry does not access the list of pensioners from Public Service before releasing funds.