Uganda: One Year Later, Govt Yet to Pay Shs 600 Million Debt for Emorimor Burial

Legislators on the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) were shocked to learn that government is yet to settle burial expenses of the Emorimor Augustine Osuban Lemukol, the Iteso cultural leader who was granted a state funeral in February 2022.

Suppliers who provided service at the official burial demand government over shillings 600 million in arrears.

Shortly after his death, President Yoweri Museveni directed that Emorimor Augustine Osuban Lemukol, the Iteso cultural leader be granted a state burial which was done.

However, appearing before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament to respond to the Audit queries raised by the Auditor General’s report for financial year ended June 2022, officials from the ministry of Public Service led by the Permanent Secretary Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire informed parliament that service providers who facilitated the state funeral were not paid.

Musingwiire explained that, “The burial expenses were submitted in March and we were told it’s coming. But, we haven’t received the money. They kept telling us they would give us the money.”

But minister Opendi chimed back, “If government doesn’t have money, let it utilise what it has but not to end up in debts.”

It was established that the ministry of public service spent Shs.710m on Emorimor’s official burial but only 76m was paid leaving outstanding arrears of Shs.634m.

Public service ministry officials noted that they had not budgeted for this item since cultural leaders are taken care of by the ministry of gender and culture.

However, Musingwiire said that, “We were instructed to carry on with the burial arrangements by the vice president who had been instructed by the president.”

The Committee led by Medard Seggona also queried the fact that the directive to the ministry of public service to conduct an official burial for Emorimor was communicated by the vice president not the President who is mandated by a law.

Among Service providers who are yet to receive their payments is Balaam Marketing Services which provided tents and public address system among others.

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