By Vision Reporters
The Irish Government has cut sh52.8b (Euros 16m) of aid to Uganda on grounds that it is being mismanaged.
According to Irish Times, the government withdrew the aid on Friday following the disappearance of sh13.2b from the Prime Minister’s Office.
The newspaper was quoting foreign minister Eamon Gilmore.
The money was allegedly transferred to accounts of officials in the Prime Minister’s Office, in what is now known as the “Kazinda scam”, after one of the suspects.
Gilmore said before suspending the aid, auditors from the foreign affairs department of Ireland came to Kampala to investigate the matter.
The money had been earmarked for education, policing and tackling HIV/AIDS in the poorest regions, like northern Uganda.
The Irish Times quoted Gilmore as saying, “I regard it as intolerable that any development assistance should be misappropriated or diverted.”
Gilmore added that the alleged fraud had been identified by Uganda’s own auditor general, who reported the gaps to Irish officials.
He added, “The Government will not provide financial support under our development cooperation programme unless it is clear that Irish money is being spent for the purpose for which it was allocated.”
Gilmore asked the Irish ambassador to Uganda, Anne Webster, to convey to the government how seriously Ireland takes issues of fraud.
“It is very important not to tolerate misuse of Irish taxpayers’ money,” he added.
Gilmore said a team from Ireland was in Uganda to establish exactly where the money went and if it could be recovered.
Government spokesperson Karooro Okurut declined to comment on the matter, saying she had not read the report.