April 28, 2014

Returned OPM Scandal Monies Used To Construct Schools

The Norwegian government is constructing schools in Northern Uganda using the 7.8 billion Uganda Shillings refunded by the Office of the Prime Minister.school

The funds were initially under the Peace Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP), but in 2011, a special audit by the Auditor General revealed about 60 billion Uganda Shillings was misappropriated. After the scandal was unearthed, the Norwegian government among other donor countries asked for the money to be refunded and the Uganda government obliged.

Thorbjorn Gaustadsather, the Norwegian Ambassador to Uganda, says his government took a decision bring back this money to northern Uganda region where the initial money was supposed to be invested.

According to the Norwegian Refugee Council, the districts of Agago, Amuru, Gulu, Kitgum, Lamwo, Nwoya and Pader will be part of the project, targeting at least 23 schools. Lamin Manjang, from the Norwegian Refugee Council Uganda, says that in centres where the community-erected grass-thatched shelters act as classrooms, permanent classroom blocks will be built. Manjang noted that toilets and washrooms will be constructed putting into consideration the particular needs of the girl child.

When some countries pulled the plug on aid to government due to the misappropriation revelations, it was redirected through NGOs and Civil Society Organisations. PRDP funds were meant to help with the recovery of northern Uganda and Karamoja Sub-regions. Donor Funds accounted for at least 40 billion Uganda Shillings of the misappropriated funds. A report by the Public Accounts Committee in Parliament in March 2014 held that Pius Bigirimana, who was the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister then, responsible for this loss of funds. However, all the evidence points to Geoffrey Kazinda, the Accounting Officer in the OPM then, who is currently serving a jail term on charges of forgery, fraud and causing financial loss.

1 thought on “Returned OPM Scandal Monies Used To Construct Schools

  1. Scandals upon scandals, what is this being built for bilions of shilings!! Is it indeed worth it or just molifying the afflicted supposed beneficiaries? In this era of rising population and modernisation, Uganda need better thinkers and patriots. Till when shall Africa need real time development? Oh oh greedy is tantamount to murder in my view.

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