By Julius Businge
The government of Uganda has today made it public that it will by the end of next week have refunded Sh38bn donor aid money stolen by interdicted government officials so that mutual relationships between the two parties can resume.
The announcement comes a month after major donor countries announced aid cuts to Uganda following the misappropriation of donor funds in the office of the Prime Minister.
The Auditor General in October released a special audit report indicating that up to Shs50 billion was misappropriated by staff in the Prime Minister’s office. The misappropriated funds were intended for post-war recovery in Northern Uganda under the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP).
Following the scam, Norway, Ireland, Denmark and United Kingdom, among others donor countries suspended their aid to Uganda.
Addressing a press conference at the finance ministry today (Jan.11), Keith Muhakanizi, the deputy secretary to the treasury said the government is putting in place strict measures to address financial management in government and restore confidence in the financial management system and to prove to the donors that the country is committed to fighting these vices.
The government has so far paid back Sh14.2billion to Ireland as it finalises all the necessary procedures with other donors to refund their money.
“We already have the money,” Muhakanizi said. “We are getting it from the government’s consolidated account.”