Uganda says confident of renewed aid

2013-01-11 21:31


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kampala - Uganda expects foreign donors to restore aid which makes up a quarter of its budget after the government pledged to refund stolen and embezzled funds and to prevent future pilferage, it said on Friday.

Major western donors including Britain, Uganda's biggest bilateral source of aid, suspended their financial support to the east African country toward the end of last year after allegations $13m worth of aid had been embezzled.

The money was meant for financing reconstruction projects in the north and north-eastern parts of the country, ravaged by years of a rebellion by the Lords Resistance Army.

"We're confident that with all the measures we've taken donor disbursements will resume in the second half of this year," Keith Muhakanizi, deputy secretary at Ministry of Finance told a news conference, referring to the fiscal year that ends on June 30.

"We're fully engaged with donors on a day-to-day basis and our reforms will trigger release of [aid] funds."

Renewed aid would support the shilling currency which hit a 14-month low last week. The Ugandan economy depends heavily on the donations as a source of foreign currency.

Muhakanizi said the government had started removing loopholes in public finance laws that encouraged fraud, conducting special audits in six big-spending ministries and freezing assets of officials accused of embezzling funds.

Strained relations

The government has previously said the cuts would leave it about $260m short of the money it needs to cover planned 2012/2013 spending. The central bank says the aid freeze will shave 0.7% off Uganda's economic growth.

Last month, ratings agency Standard and Poor's affirmed its B+ and B long- and short-term sovereign credit ratings respectively for Uganda but downgraded the country's outlook to negative from stable, citing strained relations with donors.

Uganda has reimbursed Ireland $5.3m worth of stolen aid and Muhakanizi said a total of $14.2m had been raised through a supplementary budget to refund all donors who alleged their aid was embezzled.

Angelo Izama, a Ugandan analyst at the US-based Open Society Foundation, described the idea of using taxpayer money to refund stolen aid as "bizarre" since it was not taxpayers who had embezzled the aid.

"Secondly, since the government can quickly marshal all this money to pay donors, the implication is that government has money and actually doesn't need aid," he said.

Officials say the money will be taken directly from government funds.

Read more on:    us  |  uk  |  uganda  |  aid  |  east africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


DA chatting up EFF ahead of elections

The DA in Gauteng is flirting with the Economic Freedom Fighters ahead of the elections, in what could end up as a coalition of strange bedfellows.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Note 16GB

GALAXY Note combines the market's largest HD Super AMOLED display,...

From R3899.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.