HomeNewsCarry Your Cross – Ogwang Tells Embattled Sarah Kityo

    Carry Your Cross – Ogwang Tells Embattled Sarah Kityo

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    State Minister for Sports, Peter Ogwang, has said Uganda Netball Federation President, Sarah Kityo, should “sort her mess” and “carry her cross” over the alleged mismanagement of Shs 100 million meant for players.

    The money in question was disbursed by the National Council of Sports to the netball federation in 2021 to facilitate the preparation of Uganda’s men netball team, the Rock, to participate in the championship, which took place in Pretoria, South Africa, in September 2021.

    Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) (Central Government) that is currently probing the matter as raised by the Auditor General noted accountability flaws in the expenditure of the funds that adversely affected the facilitation of the netball players in terms of allowances, meals, accommodation, and other planned activities.

    Kityo told the media that “the IGG report came out and Minister Ogwang has never said anything,” adding, “The issue I have with him is that he is taking sides in this accountability.”

    In response, Ogwang said, “Kityo needs to be honest with herself and sort out her own mess. She was an MP and is alive to parliamentary committee investigation procedures.”

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    He added: “She is also alive to the processes of the Office of the Auditor General and how the IGG works. Asking me to protect you from accounting for public funds or accusing me of taking sides is really laughable.”

    The Shs100 million that was allocated to the Uganda Netball Federation (UNF) in the financial year 2021-2022 for the International Male Netball Championship in South Africa has exposed the professional misconduct of the federation’s top officials.

    As a result, the PAC deputy chairperson, Hon. Asuman Basalirwa, recently handed the UNF President, Sarah Kityo, Richard Muhumuza (Vice President), and Aidah Nambusi (Treasurer), on Thursday, to the Parliament Police Criminal Investigation Department for further management.

    This was after the officials, while appearing before the committee, failed to properly account for the funds but rather pointed fingers at their president for allegedly diverting a huge chunk of the money for her personal use at the expense of the planned activities.

    Ogwang said, “As public leaders, we cannot run away from public accountability especially when it involves public funds,” emphasising, “I am sorry, I will not be a scapegoat nor should I be made to vicariously pay for others’ sins. We have to carry our own cross.”

    The Minister further told Kityo that, “It is erroneous to blindfold the public to think that you are being witch-hunted because you were even part of the meeting that met the Minister of Education and Sports along with the Auditor General, IGG, Attorney General, myself, and others in April at State House, Nakasero. You were there when the meeting resolved to conduct a special investigation on Uganda Netball Federation.”

    Nambusi told the Parliament committee how, on the eve of the night the players traveled to South Africa, she withdrew Shs 98 million of the received Shs 100 million and took it to Kityo in her office in the presence of other executive committee members for allocation as per the planned budget.

    However, to her shock, Kityo ordered her to leave her office, claiming that her services were no longer needed since she was not part of the team traveling to South Africa.

    “Out of the Shs98 million, she told me to pay Shs11 million to Beyond the Sky Travel Company for five air tickets and another Shs1.7 million to Mando Shoes and Clothing Centre.

    “For the rest of the money [Shs85.3 million], she told me to hand over all the money and leave the office,” Nambusi said.

    Nambusi added that Kityo received the money without signing on any voucher, claiming “she was time-barred and that accountability would be done when they return from the trip.”

    “Even when I later returned to ask her about the documents and information about how the money was spent so that I could account for it, she [Kityo] told me not to bother because she has an accountant who will do the accountability. I was left useless, and since then, I have never done any accountability at UNF,” she said.

    Both Yahaya Sengabi, UNF Publicity Secretary, and UNF Secretary Aminah Mande, who were present when Kityo was handed the money, confirmed that indeed the latter received the money and single-handedly managed it without the committee’s input.


    Kityo denied all the allegations, saying she is not responsible for the accountability of the funds meant for the netball team in South Africa. “I delegated Muhumuza as the responsible officer for financial management of the entire trip in South Africa. Also, I did not authorise any payment in regards to the Shs100 million,” she said.

    She also denied ever making any accountability to NCS in respect of the said money, despite the committee showing her the accountability letter that was reportedly authored by her.

    Kityo was recently  remanded to Luzira prison on charges of obtaining Shs 16 million by false pretence.

    The victim, Sarah Wamala, states that in May 2022, she paid Shs8 million to the accused persons to take her son to the United States of America, which promise was not fulfilled.

    “Hon. Kityo was recently arrested and remanded on a matter unrelated to the government or the netball federation. Should Ogwang protect you on that?” wondered Ogwang.

    “You are being investigated on FY 2021/2022 audit queries long before I was State Minister of Sports. Do you still want me to protect you on things I know nothing about? Hon. Kityo, this has nothing to do with Ogwang. I can only support government arms to strengthen public accountability without fear or favour, but not to protect anyone. Gone are the days when sports federations would not submit accountability reports.”

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