Makerere University Business School (MUBS) top management has been pinned over financial mismanagement marred by irregular staff recruitment, promotions and ghost workers some of whom are earning double payments.
This is entailed in a draft Annual Report of the Auditor General on the financial statements of MUBS for the Financial Year ended 30th June 2017.
According to the report prepared by Auditor General John Muwanga, the financial statements of MUBS headed by the School’s Principal Waswa Balunywa (Accounting Officer) “are manipulated and fraudulently prepared, in all material respects, contrary to section 51 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2015, and the financial management guidelines for Public Universities, 2009 and the culprits should be brought to book.”
In his unqualified opinion, Muwanga in this leaked MUBS audit report has revealed how the University has been running several unauthorized excess expenditure and has had irregular payment of allowances and non-reduction of statutory obligations.
“Contrary to section 2.5.1 of the MUBS Finance and Accounting Manual 2012, the School incurred Shs7,836,187,683 over and above the approved estimates on various expenditure line items without the necessary approval. In the circumstances, the expenditure is not a proper charge to public funds and should be refunded by the MUBS Accounting Officer,” the leaked report seen by the Kampala Post reads in part.
The leaked report also notes that during the year under review, a total of Shs12,283,282,000 in form of allowances was not initially subjected to Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax at a rate of 30%.
“Instead the Bursar later deducted PAYE amounting to Shs3,684,984,600 which was deposited on the personal bank accounts of the MUBS Principal and Bursar,” the report says further.
The leaked report revealed the School did not make 10% and 5% NSSF remittances amounting to Shs4,338,830,110 from staff salaries contrary to the NSSF Act.
“When Principal learnt of our audit team coming to audit, he directed the Bursar to pay some large lump some of the NSSF arrears to staff accounts which causes confusion to follow up,” the report states.
“In some cases, up to five submissions were made in one week only which confirms existence of fraud. Thus, the reported payable balance in the financial statements is misstated in this regard. The Principal should be held accountable for this fraud in the anti-corruption court of Uganda.”
A review of the approved University staff establishment also revealed that out of 1,152 posts, only 913 (79%) were filled leaving 239 (21%) posts vacant. A detailed review of the structure revealed that the category of academic staff was the most affected.
“Out of 552 required academic staff, only 345 (63%) posts were filled. There are many ghost lecturers and administrators on the MUBS payroll with some earning double payments. This implies that the University does not have the requisite number of staff despite teaching being the core activity of the University,” reads Muwanga’s report.
It was also observed that most of the junior lecturers are demotivated especially former Graduate Assistants who are not on public service payroll and earn peanuts and are not likely to be included in the next financial budget because the School has never submitted their names to the ministry.
“It is suspected that the Principal and the Bursar are the beneficiaries, however more investigations on money transfers to their personal accounts and an audit of personal property is needed to confirm,” Muwanga said in his report.
It was established that many staff are often promoted irregularly by the Principal, while others are sidelined. Among these at least four senior academic staffs at the level of Associate Professor were promoted without following the right procedures. No minutes/records from any respective Departmental/Faculty appointment board meetings were found. These include; Dr. Moses Muhwezi, Dr. Mohammed Ngoma, Dr. Laura Orobia among others.
“These promotions must be reversed immediately to avoid other staff challenging them in courts of law. In addition, there is lack of clarity to staff about existing academic staff promotion criteria which the MUBS Principal never communicates to staffs and appears to be taking advantage,” Muwanga said.
It was found out that the MUBS Principal, Waswa Balunywa was also irregularly promoted to professor with no minutes from the Departmental/Faculty appointment board meetings and lacks an ordinary level certificate which is forged in different names.