Masindi District Local Government risks losing some of its vehicles after court instructed bailiffs to attach them over a Shs200 million debt.
Kampala High Court on October 23 instructed two bailiffs to attach vehicles belonging to the District Education Officer and the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) after the district administration failed to agree on the mode of payment for the pension of its former employees.
M/s BICOM Company Ltd wrote to the district last week, warning that if the gratuity money meant for Mr Elasto Byamukama and two others is not paid within a week, they would attach some of the district vehicles.
The district vice chairperson, Mr Kabagonza Kasim, confirmed the development.
“Two of our retired district workers took us to court and demand Shs81 million and 5 per cent interest, where by even the court bailiff wants 10 per cent (about Shs8 million) from us as their executional fees,” Mr Kabagonza said.
In 2016, the ministry of Finance remitted Shs200 million to the district as pension funds for three workers who had retired from government service.
The money was meant for Mr Milton Mugungu, the former district community development officer, Mr Byabakama, the former production officer, and Irene Tusiime, the former Kimengo Sub-county community development officer, who died in April 2015. However, the beneficiaries say their money was diverted to paying other district civil servants.
The district chairperson, Mr Cosmas Byaruhanga, said they are looking for money to pay the pension arrears but blamed the former leaders for mismanaging it.
“I was not in the council by then and all who messed the money left office. That is why when I came, I reshuffled the Finance department,” Mr Byaruhanga said.
The district secretary for finance, Ms Kugonza Salama, said the district is also indebted to Baikare Gapco Company in fuel expenses. The district was also served a court order this week, allowing bailiffs of M/s Tendo Auto garage to attach the education officer’s vehicle and that of the CAO so as to recover the Shs68 million as unpaid claims for repairing six district vehicles in 2013.
On October 25, the district council held a crisis meeting over the court orders. The councillors blamed the Ministry of Local Government for quickly transferring the past CAOs, whom they said did not mind about clearing the debts.