Denmark Sets Stringent Conditions For Restoration Of Frozen Aid

and geneva; font-size: small;”>Denmark also set out tough conditions before the aid taps could be reopened such as “written confirmation of the commitments” to crack down on corrupt officials “with indications of concrete actions taken.”

remedy geneva; font-size: small;”>Denmark now joins Ireland, Sweden and UK in slashing aid to the country over the OPM graft.

Premier Amama Mbabazi on Saturday said culprits will see their properties seized.

“I can assure you that there may be asset seizures from those involved in this great crime,” said Mbabazi during an online discussion with Ugandans on micro-blogging site, Twitter.

Several officials in the OPM including Principal Accountant Geoffrey Kazinda have been interdicted over the plunder.

Mbabazi said government would improve ways of detecting corruption and create a significant deterrent against public fund theft.

He further noted that he was already meeting donors to reassure them about the use of public funds, accountability structures and action taken against culprits.

He, however, noted that since the case is before the courts of law, the Prime Minister would not want to prejudice the process of adducing evidence against culprits.

He also ruled out resigning, saying “each time a bureaucrat steals a Prime Minister must resign, no Prime Minister would last two days.”

Mbabazi further said he was “deeply saddened” by the plunder of resources at OPM, adding, “Criminal justice must take its course.”

Below is Denmark’s full statement in full.

Development Christian Friis Bach suspend all direct payments of development assistance to the Ugandan government after revelations of fraud with donor funds.

After publication of Uganda’s Auditor General’s report on fraud donor funds in the Ugandan State Ministry for Development Cooperation Christian Friis Bach decided to temporarily suspend all direct payments of development assistance to the Ugandan government. The decision has this week been granted by the Danish Ambassador to Uganda’s prime minister and finance minister.

On this occasion underlines Development Christian Friis Bach:

“We have immediately suspended all direct payments of assistance through the Government of Uganda. We have zero tolerance for fraud. There have been tough meetings with both Prime Minister and Finance Minister. We called to get to the bottom of the matter, we have demanded money refunded and all those responsible brought to justice, and the introduction of more and better control systems which ensure that the type of fraud will not occur again. The government has promised will happen.

We continue support for such judiciary, the popular associations, the private sector, the Human Rights Commission, Ombudsman and other stakeholders outside of government. If we stick completely, we fail not only thousands of poor people in Uganda, which has the benefit of Danish development assistance. We also lose the ability to continue the fight against poverty, against corruption and for human rights in Uganda.

The specific case of fraud is about 5 million out of about 360 million, Denmark has planned to give Uganda in 2012. It is a scandal. But in the midst of scandal, we can rejoice that it is precisely the Ugandan National Audit Office, which Denmark has actively supported who have discovered the fraud.

Ugandan Prime Minister Mbabazi has deplored what occurred. He has promised a written statement about what you will do in the short and long term.

Denmark’s Ambassador to Uganda together with other Development Partners has met with the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, and Hon. Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Maria Kiwanuka to discuss the findings in the recent report of the Auditor General.

The report documents extensive financial impropriety of among others Danish funds in the Office of the Prime Minister.

A candid and detailed discussion took place and a written reply to the issues raised is now expected from the Prime Minster. Pending receipt of a written reaction and satisfactory action by the Government of Uganda direct Danish disbursements to the Government of Uganda has been suspended.

Support to Partners that are working to promote good governance, human rights and combat corruption, such as the Uganda Human Rights Commission, the IGG and the courts, will continue.

The Danish Minister for Development Cooperation, Mr. Christian Friis Bach, has underlined Denmark’s zero tolerance towards corruption and demanded that all efforts are made to get to the bottom of this case.

In a statement the Danish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Dan E. Frederiksen says:

“The discussions at the first meetings with the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister and the Hon. Minister of Finance have been very candid and detailed. Together with other Development Partners, I have made Denmark’s position very clear and we have received firm commitments from the Government of Uganda to take action on all the issues we have raised.

We now need to see written confirmation of the commitments made at these meetings with indications of concrete actions taken. We also need assurances that ongoing and additional investigations, not least in the Office of the Prime Minister, are allowed to happen unhindered.

Denmark has been supporting Uganda since the time of independence and we have assisted Uganda to establish the institutions necessary to promote good governance and tackle cases of impropriety and corruption.

In the current situation we also look to these institutions to take appropriate action in the follow up to the good work of the Auditor General.


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