The Government of Uganda, through the Office of the Prime Minister has been asked to pay back €4m in misappropriated Irish funds, which ended up in a bank account operated by officials from the prime minister’s office.
In a candid two-hour meeting held on Monday, the Irish ambassador Anne Webster, made it clear the Irish Government expects the funds to be repaid. Webster and other ambassadors met the Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi at his office in Kampala.
Immediately after the meeting, seventeen senior officials from the Prime Minister’s office and the finance ministry were suspended over the alleged fraud.
Although the Prime Minister declined to reveal the details of the discussions with donors’ representatives, he said the Government regrets what happened.
“We regret that this happened. As a country and Government, we are sorry it happened. It was obviously a criminal act. The theft was massive. We regret. It is a pity,” he said
The alleged fraud involved sh16.2b that was meant for the Northern Ugandan Peace Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP).
The money was from Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Britain which prompted the Irish government to suspend all funding to the Ugandan Government.
“We condemn that act in the strongest terms and want to assure everyone that all the necessary measures to bring those responsible to book will be carried out.”
The foreign envoys, who attended the two-hour meeting with Mbabazi were Anne Webster (Ireland), Ambassador D. E. Frederickson (Denmark), Urban Undersson (Sweden) and Thorbjoorn Gaustadsaether (Norway), Daniel Graymore (head of the Department for International Development), Theo Hoorntje (the Charge of Affairs of the European Union) and Ahmadou Mustafa Ndiaye (World Bank Country Manager)