The executive director of National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) Judy Obitre-Gama is under investigation for alleged fraud, corruption and abuse of office among other cases.
The case was referred to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) by the parliamentary committee on Defence and Internal Affairs committee on the basis of queries raised by the auditor general in a December 2017 report from the verification of funds spent for the registration of learners exercise.
The report indicated that NIRA failed to account for huge sums of money, channelled billions of money to individual accounts and flouted procurement procedures during the exercise that was carried out in both primary and secondary schools across the country during the national ID student enrolment exercise.
The enrolment drive is intended to capture the data of children aged 5-16 years which the authority did not have in its national registry databank. The auditor general observed that in the process, NIRA irregularly paid out Shs 2.1 billion to individual personal accounts while another Shs 1.3 billion was deposited to the personal account of the accountant.
NIRA also failed to account for Shs 8.4 billion spent as facilitation to various officials. The report equally pointed out irregularities in the procurement of laptops and batteries for the project.
NIRA purchased 2,000 laptops and 6,000 laptop batteries for the project, which, according to the auditor general, were overpriced leading to a loss of Shs 2.7 billion. Though all laptops were delivered, the report says only 350 batteries were received.
Parliament's defense committee headed by Judith Nabakooba handed Obitre-Gama to the Criminal Investigations Department after failing to provide evidence of the use of government resources.
According to Nabakooba, the authority does not have documents and records in relation to the activities. She says NIRA does not have authentic paperwork showing what they are doing. Nabakooba also says Obitre-Gama used her position to recruit staff without approval from Public Service.
Nabakooba says police will now investigate all the allegations on NIRA and concerns of staff, like harassment of staff. She says NIRA has Ugandans' sensitive information, but there is something not happening right in the authority.
Kasilo County MP Elijah Okupa says that NIRA failed to avail minutes of board meetings for the first two years, which is unacceptable for an authority which is managing Uganda's data system.
NIRA has been marred by chaos with workers accusing the management of segregation, favouritism and in many cases harassment. NIRA whose principal role is the establishment and maintenance of the national identification register has also faced allegations of irregular recruitment of staff among other things.
In March, this year the former staff members petitioned the speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga seeking to have them either reinstated or they are paid salary for six months.