News and Views
South Korea Grants Aid To Uganda As Britain Suspends Theirs
Britain and Ireland have slashed aid to Uganda, joining Norway, Denmark and Sweden which jointly announced last Friday that they withhold donor support funds until culprits in the theft of Shs20bn in the Office of Prime Minister are brought to book.
The donors also want their money recovered.
The British Newspaper Daily Mail on Tuesday reports that “No British money was taken but last night Whitehall officials said they had taken the precaution of suspending British aid payments of £4million-a-year to Mr Mbabazi’s office.”
In total, the newspaper says, Britain is sending £98million this year to Uganda, most of which will continue.
Interestingly, the incident comes at a time when the South Korean government is set to grant millions of dollars in aid to Uganda.
The signing ceremony of the Grant aid between government and Korean government by its ambassador and the Minister of Finance Maria Kiwanuka will be held today in Kampala at around 3pm.
Western countries last week slashed over Shs20bn aid to Uganda following the Auditor General’s report that donor support funds had been swindled by Principal Accountant in the Office of Prime Minister (OPM) Geoffrey Kazinda and his cohorts.
Kazinda reportedly colluded with officials in Bank of Uganda and Finance Ministry to exploit loopholes in the financial management systems to facilitate the theft.
Ireland also responded by sending a team of three officials to follow up the matter here in Kampala.
They met Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and Permanent Secretary in the OPM Pius Bigirima, whose signatures were forged by Kazinda in the fraudulent transactions, at the formers’ office in Kampala on Monday.
On Friday 19 October 2012, the Office of the Auditor General of Uganda published a report that was strongly critical of the Ugandan Government’s administration of development assistance from the western countries.
The report indicates extensive irregularities and fraud with regard to half of the Euro 22.9 million in development assistance.