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Donors Cut Funds To Rev. Sempangi

By Vision Reporter

Added 5th December 2001 03:00 AM

STICHTING Redt een Kind, a Dutch Christian Childcare organisation, has said they pulled out of supporting the work of Africa Foundation in Uganda, led by the Rev. Dr. Kefa Sempangi, over blatant corruption and abuse of funds.

STICHTING Redt een Kind, a Dutch Christian Childcare organisation, has said they pulled out of supporting the work of Africa Foundation in Uganda, led by the Rev. Dr. Kefa Sempangi, over blatant corruption and abuse of funds.

BY Milton Olupot STICHTING Redt een Kind, a Dutch Christian Childcare organisation, has said they pulled out of supporting the work of Africa Foundation in Uganda, led by the Rev. Dr. Kefa Sempangi, over blatant corruption and abuse of funds. The Redt een Kind Field Coordinator, Marieke van der Schoot, yesterday denied switching their funding to people in Afghanistan as Sempangi, the Director of the Foundation, was quoted as saying. Sempangi told The New Vision last week they have failed to look after the street children because their sponsors halted funding them due to the war in Afghanistan. “We have advised some of the former street children to leave the home because their sponsors have pulled out. We cannot sustain them due to meagre resources,” he said. The organisation has been supporting 259 children, rescued from the streets by Sempangi. Marieke speaking from Holland, said, “This is not true. The reason for our decision to stop supporting Africa Foundation is through blatant corruption and abuse of funds over a long period of time. “Even with repeated warnings and check-ups, there was no improvement in the situation, hence our decision to stop funding the organisation of Dr. Kefa Sempangi. “Redt een Kind does not work in Afghanistan. We do not give emergency support to countries in war. We are a childcare support organisation,” she said. Sempangi said they would remain with not more than 100 children who would be transferred to Seeta and Seguku. He was not available for comment yesterday. Marieke yesterday said they had sunk over US$2m (about sh4b) over the years, on top of financing the acquisition of land and construction of four sites at Seeta, Mengo, Seguku and Mukono which was the main home. She said they had been sending sh50,000 monthly as support money for each of the 259 children in addition to paying their school fees for primary, secondary, vocational and university education. “We have also been remitting sh595,000 monthly as car maintenance expenses, sh850,000 for staff salaries, food, and special projects as requested over the years by Dr. Kefa Sempangi, such as construction of kitchens, extra buildings, purchase of cars and other vehicles. “But this money has not been going to these children. The children told us they have been working for money to buy school uniforms and for school fees yet we have been sending this money,” she added. She said the copies of audited accounts sent to them by Dr. Sempangi, “were made up and could not be used or relied on.” Marieke told The New Vision they had written to the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, informing them about the problems with a view of discussing the way forward for the children, but were disappointed that the ministry did not respond to them. Mr. Sam Acou, a commissioner in the Ministry of Gender yesterday said, “I hear there was a letter expressing disappointment with Africa Foundation, but I did not handle it myself. An officer, Saidi Bukenya, was recently sent to Mukono to investigate the matter, but no action has been taken yet. Asked about the future of the children dropping out of school, she said they had advised Dr. Sempangi to sell the properties and use the money to help the children finish their education. The Archbishop of Uganda, Rev. Dr. Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyooyo, promised to take over care of some of the children. A source at his office yesterday said they would take up a number of children but did not specify how many. Ends

Donors Cut Funds To Rev. Sempangi

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