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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

EU donors freeze aid to Uganda over corruption

More Western donors, among which the EU, Germany and the UK are freezing aid to Uganda after a scam in which $13 million of donor funds was embezzled by the office of the prime minister.
According to the latest scandal - brought to light by the country's auditor general in October, more than $220 000 was spent on gas in four days, millions of dollars were diverted to buy luxury vehicles for top officials, and millions were deposited into individuals' private accounts.
Because the money was for the rehabilitation of parts of northern Uganda devastated by decades of warlord Joseph Kony's brutal insurgency, the scandal has provoked a lasting rage around the country and inspired aid cuts that foreign donors had been reluctant to inflict on this East African country.
Roberto Ridolfi, the head of the European Union delegation to Uganda, said in a statement that the scandal and those before it amounted to "a breach of trust" on the part of Ugandan authorities. Sweden, Germany, Ireland, Britain and Denmark have already cut or cancelled all aid to Uganda over the scam, saying they have lost faith in the government's capacity to spend money responsibly. Western donors fund up to 25% of Uganda's budget. Ridolfi said the EU and its development partners in Uganda "will withhold pending budget support disbursements and any further commitments for an initial period of up to [six] months".


Source: The Monitor