Uganda Refunds Shs11bn Stolen Aid To Norway

more about geneva;”>Interdicted Principal Accountant Godfrey Kazinda and other officials are in court for reportedly conniving with elements in the Ministry of Finance and Bank of Uganda to plunder over Shs30bn of donor support funds earmarked for reconstruction of Northern Uganda.

find geneva;”>Minister of International Development Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås commented, viagra 40mg “This is the largest single repayment we have ever received.”

“Norway practices zero tolerance for corruption. We therefore demanded that all the misused funds were repaid and those responsible brought to justice. All forms of corruption can be seen as stealing from the poor,” said Mr Holmås.

“It sends an important signal to other donors and to the people of Uganda that the country has to take the fight against corruption seriously. I expect to see a renewed will to fight corruption in every form, particularly cases involving corruption at the very top of the government apparatus,” said Mr Holmås.

Last year, OPM Permanent Secretary Pius Bigirimana reported to Police a case of theft that involved forging his signatures to transfer funds to questionable accounts.

The Office of the Auditor General subsequently investigated the misuse and embezzlement of international aid funds by corrupt officials thus exposing the massive theft.

It was documented that around Shs35bn billions had been misused, Shs11bn million of which was from Norway.

This money should have been used to help people in northern Uganda who were poverty-stricken after years of conflict.

“It’s not enough that we have strict routines for controlling the use of aid funds. The recipient countries themselves must be able to expose misuse and address it. Norway’s support for the Office of the Auditor General of Uganda has clearly been worthwhile,” said Mr Holmås.

Uganda has met its obligations under its agreement with Norway and other donors by paying back all the funds that have been misused.

“I expect the Ugandan Government to do its utmost to rebuild confidence in the time ahead. The repayment of the misused funds is an important step in this direction,” said Mr Holmås.

Norwegian aid to the Ugandan Government has been stopped.

After the discovery of the misuse of these funds, Norway undertook an additional review of the use of Norwegian funds in the first two years of the programme. Norway discontinued its support to the programme in 2011.

Norway’s general budget support to Uganda had already ceased in 2010.

Government recently returned almost Shs17bn to Ireland, with Secretary to the Treasury, Keith Muhakanizi saying this should not cause panic because it is in the provisions of the Law Article 156 for the President or Ministry to issue a supplementary budget so as to for such emergencies.

He also noted government had opened an account in Bank of Uganda to commence immediate recovery of the misappropriated funds in line with the laws of Uganda and a specific account has been opened to recover funds lost in the OPM and another account has been opened to receive other recoveries.

On the same note, he observed, Government has undertaken administrative sanctions such as interdictions on the individuals named in the financial impropriety in MFPED, OPM, BoU and MPS.

Muhakanizi added police was undertaking vigorous investigations for fraud and corruption on the individuals named in the financial impropriety with a view to prosecute them and assets of the named individuals have been frozen as investigations continue.


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