Uganda

GOAL calls on Irish Government to cease routing aid through the Ugandan administration following the latest Ugandan scandal

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GOAL has again called on the Government to end the practise of channelling millions of Irish Aid funds through the corrupt Ugandan regime, following the disclosure today that the former health minister Jim Muhwezi and two deputy ministers have been arrested.

A report implicated the trio in mismanaging a grant from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. It is believed that anywhere between US$25m-$27m of Global Fund monies was siphoned by bureaucrats and political supervisors through procurement loopholes and outright graft. The Global Fund last month announced it has permanently terminated two grants to Uganda for malaria and tuberculosis because of what it called "unsatisfactory performance". As a result, Uganda has missed about $16 million.

The fund which receives millions annually from the Irish Government, suspended grants to Uganda in 2005 after discovering the fraud. Several other employees face charges over the issue.

"It defies logic how the Department of Foreign Affairs can continue to trust and do business with a regime which is clearly corrupt and which has been severely criticised by its own President Yoweri Museveni for its level of corruption.

"Are we so naïve in this country to believe that our money will not be touched by the corrupt officials which run this country?" stated John O'Shea, GOAL's CEO.