Uganda Refunds Swedish Aid Money

Interdicted former Principal Accountant in the OPM Geoffrey Kazinda
Interdicted former Principal Accountant in the OPM Geoffrey Kazinda

Sweden has become the latest European nation after Norway to receive a refund of aid money it gave Uganda but was funnelled into private accounts linked to the prime minister’s office in Kampala.

Uganda has reimbursed Sweden some $3.75 million in aid that had been misappropriated by senior officials.

The amount is about half of the 45 million kronor refund that the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) had sought.

“Uganda has indicated that the remaining sum was not misappropriated and has been used correctly. But before we relinquish our demand for full repayment we want an in-depth review of the remaining sum,” Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, SIDA’s director general, said.

Last year, the Auditor General released a damning report that indicated how Shs50 billion meant for the Peace, Recovery and Development Programme for northern Uganda, established to rebuild the region after decades of conflict and devastation had been mismanaged.

The programme received funds from Ireland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

Petri Gornitzka said SIDA was “now working intensively to try to find new ways to invest the refunded sum into the same area, but without going via the Ugandan state’s financial system”.

Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Ireland have all asked Uganda to return the aid. Oslo said Wednesday it had been refunded in full.

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