Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Finance Minister Matia Kasaija has written to President Yoweri Museveni clarifying that the information on which he based a decision for the suspension of the Democratic Governance Facility – DGF was wrong.
President Yoweri Museveni had earlier on ordered the suspension of the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), the single biggest donor basket established by Development Partners to provide harmonized, coherent and well-coordinated support to state and non-state entities in the country.
According to President Museveni, the Ministry of Finance irregularly and unilaterally authorized DGF funding to a tune 500 billion Shillings, to be operated exclusively by foreign missions in Uganda. He added that the approval of DGF operations without government oversight tantamount to surrendering the sovereignty of the people of Uganda to foreign interests.
“The foreign mission and its funders have been given free rein by the Ministry of Finance to choose which activity, entities and amounts to finance without the knowledge or consent of the government,” Museveni said in a letter dated January 2, 2021, addressed to Finance Minister Matia Kasaija. “Was this a result of subversion, corruption or criminal negligence, or all of these? Why wasn’t the Cabinet and I consulted? This is unacceptable,” Museveni said and directed the Minister to immediately suspend the DGF until Cabinet has fully reviewed the matter.
But Kasaija told Uganda Radio Network that he has written a detailed report to the President explaining the processes that the Finance Ministry went through to approve DGF funding and how the basket fund operates in Uganda. He however could not divulge details but added that the president’s judgement was based on wrong information. Kasaija adds that he will now wait for the President’s response to the matter.
One of the beneficiary organizations, Alliance for Campaign Finance Monitoring (ACFIM) has welcomed the move saying that accusing DGF and all partner organizations of engaging in subversive activities is misinformation.
ACFIM’s founder Henry Muguzi says that their call was that the President is furnished with correct information about the operations of DGF, whose funding has been instrumental in developing the country through its support to both state and non-state actors.
Earlier, Members of Parliament questioned President Yoweri Museveni’s directive and warned that DGF’s finances to different Non-Government Organizations and Ministries, Departments and Agencies shouldn’t be related to politics. They added that the fund has greatly helped the country to further good governance, fight corruption, solve the unemployment problem and several other issues of benefit to society.
DGF is funding more than 70 organisations in Uganda which collectively employ more than 10,000 people.