Detectives from the Police Criminal Investigations Directorate are investigating officials at the Ministry of Health over the alleged misuse of money given to the country as part of the Global Fund against HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
If proven, the loss of money will come as an embarrassment to the government after Global Fund cut grants to the country in 2005 over corruption.
The parallel exercise is underway alongside internal investigations directed by the Ministry’s PS Asuman Lukwago after audit reports covering 2009/10 and 2010/11 unearthed inaccurate accounts and exaggerated expenditures, sources told this newspaper.
The police deputy spokesperson, Ms Judith Nabakooba, confirmed the investigation and said it is being handled by the CID director. “It is true a lot of money is believed to have been mismanaged. An investigation has been opened and findings will be availed after the investigations are completed,” Ms Nabakooba told Daily Monitor yesterday.
According to a source within the ministry, tension has gripped the ministry over the past week with the spotlight beginning to turn to some of the key officials. “So far data unearthed is implicating more than six officials,” the source said, declining to give details of the individuals implicated in the alleged mismanagement of the funds.
The money in question includes an estimated Shs78b, meant for Global Fund Round 4 Malaria Phase 2 and Round 7 Malaria Phase 1. Apparently, the internal audit report for 2010/2011 highlighted the abnormal expenditure under Malaria Control Programme which called for immediate investigations into the use of the money.
Fictitious and false accountabilities and abuse of per-diem, allowances, fuel, and contracts have also indicated as part of the gross mismanagement of the funds. Investigations are believed to cover accountabilities, project documents, project bank details, implementation/work plans, requisition and pay vouchers, receipts, progress reports, among others.
Available findings show that some officials randomly posted billions of the GF monies into their personal accounts.
This fresh detail comes just a few days after the UK government said Uganda will lose billions of pounds in budget support over the next four years until commitment has been shown towards the fight against corruption and human rights abuses.
By Agatha Ayebazibwe, Daily Monitor