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Luweero district officials accused of misusing government cars

The Auditor General has faulted Luweero district for misuse of government vehicles.

The district owns 20 pickups, 9 heavy load vehicles, 170 motorcycles and 60 bicycles. However, the 2014/15 audit report released by the Auditor General recently faults the district administration for lacking policies to control and manage the fleet.

The report reveals that workers in Luweero were driving the pool service government vehicles during weekends, beyond official working hours and outside the district without movement orders from the Chief Administrative Officer.

Public service standing orders stipulate that use of pool service vehicles must be managed by accounting officers from the various ministries and local governments who have to provide a movement order for any vehicle that may be used beyond mandatory time.

Use of such government vehicles is restricted to 8am to 5pm daily. The standing orders advise officers with government pool cars in their custody beyond the mandatory time to park them at the nearest police stations for safe custody.

But the vehicles are often seen parked at bars in the night while others are used to transport charcoal, firewood and water, a confirmation that the procedures are never followed in Luweero.

The report adds that the district has no records on monthly fuel consumption, servicing or repairs and other information about the state of vehicles in contravention of Uganda Servicing Standing Orders.

The Auditor General John Muwanga directed the district’s Chief Administrative Officer Eustace Gakwandi to enforce the guidelines in order to reduce expenses on unplanned maintenance. URN has learnt that the district spends 35 million Shillings annually on general repairs of pickups and trucks.

Fredrick Kyeyune a resident in Kavule zone in Luweero town council asked the CAO to issue  stringent measures and direct police to impound district vehicles if found in use beyond working hours.

But civil servants who preferred anonymity say that some assignments stretch beyond official working hours or days yet they need cars to execute them. They however admitted that they were not seeking movement orders from the office of the CAO.

When reached, Eustace Gakwandi the Luweero chief Administrative said that he was not aware of the misuse but undertook to take action after the receiving the report.