BY ROBERT ATIKU
MARACHA: Maracha Resident District Commissioner Mrs. Esther Soet Cherop has called off the weekly COVID_19 Taskforce meeting over alleged low quorum and accountability concerns.
The RDC announced call off of this weekly meeting to members on Tuesday shortly after it started. The meeting was rescheduled on Friday this week.
The decision was reportedly on grounds of absence of the District Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), who according to the RDC was expected to present an accountability report on donations and shs 165m COVID_19 disease money which Central Government sent to the district.
“People are not satisfied. Whom are we keeping this money for? It’s not Maracha district local government donating for district Taskforce and other activities. It’s the ministry of health. On Friday we shall come back for a meeting like this one where CAO and all heads of department especially the subcommittees should be in attendance to give us their detailed reports on what they have done.” Mrs. Soet said.
The Maracha District Taskforce meeting for COVID_19 sits once per week on every Tuesday.
Honorable Adiga Lawrence Ozubia Maracha district Chairman said the decision was purely in the wisdom of the Maracha District Taskforce chairperson.
“This was a decision taken by the Chairperson of the Task-force Maracha district. In her wisdom, she felt that it was important for the Chief Executive Mr. Christopher Okumu to attend the meeting in person, particularly to give accountability of the donations we got from partners and also to give updates on exhaustion of the shs 165m emergency funds for COVID_19 disease. I respect the decision.”
The representative of the Sub-county Chairpersons to the District Taskforce Mr. Pontius Eyotre Adobe, who is also the subcounty Chairperson for Oluffe subcounty, had this to say about the call off this meeting.
“The call off of the meeting by the RDC is very good for me because the CAO is the accounting officer, he needs to be around. So will wait and hear from the CAO on Friday. We(Sub county Chairpersons) are entitled for fuel and allowances which we have not received any. ” Mr Eyotre commented.
However, the Maracha District Chief Administrative Officer Mr. Christopher Okumu was reportedly away for Official duty in Kampala. Although the CAO’s Office was ably represented in this called off meeting, it was revealed by the Chair that his presence required in person.
When contacted on phone, the Chief Administrative Officer Mr. Christopher Okumu explained that he is observing financial regulations to manage the COVID_19 pandemic funds.
“Under financial regulation, accountabilities can be retired within one month from the receipt of an advance. And the money people have got has not taken one month. There is no accountability issue to the best of my knowledge. The District Taskforce doesn’t meet for accountability. Actually some of the funds we are still releasing.”
Members of Maracha district Taskforce for COVID_19 have so far sat for sixteen meetings since March this year.End