Britain Cuts Financial Aid To Uganda Over Corruption

 @Gooch700
on November 16 2012 1:01 PM
Kampala, Uganda
Kampala, Uganda Flickr/Creative Commons

The United Kingdom has suspended all financial aid to the Ugandan government over evidence of corruption and misuse by officials in Kampala, BBC reported.

Specifically, Britain's Department for International Development said that £11 million ($18 million) in initial aid had been canceled following forensic audits.

The UK planned to disburse about £26.9 million in aid to Uganda this financial year (ending next March).

The Guardian reported that the total planned bilateral to Uganda this financial year amounted to £98.9 million -- some of these funds were sent to private sector, multilateral bodies and NGOs.

"We are extremely concerned by these preliminary findings, and we will assess the decision further when we have considered the full findings of the report," a department spokesman said.

"Unless the government of Uganda can show that UK taxpayers' money is going toward helping the poorest people lift themselves out of poverty, this aid will remain frozen, and we will expect repayment and administrative and criminal sanctions."

The decision follows similar suspensions of aid by other European nations, including Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

Last month, Uganda's own auditor-general reported that Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi's office tranferred millions of dollars in foreign loans to his private accounts.

Mbabazi denied allegations of corruption but conceded that "massive theft" had occurred in his office.

Britain may also cut financial aid to Uganda's neighbor Rwanda.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said earlier this week that the UK may reconsider sending funds to Rwanda over concerns that the Kigali government is supporting violent militias in the Democratic Republic of Congo who have committed mass murder and rape.

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