Norway cuts aid to Uganda over graft

2012-11-06 21:13

Kampala - Norway has become the fourth European country to suspend aid to Uganda after $13m in donor funds was found to have been embezzled.

The growing scandal adds to concerns about corruption under President Yoweri Museveri, accused by his critics of creating a culture of impunity for cronies who steal public money but are loyal to his party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM).

Norway joined Britain, Ireland and Denmark in suspending aid after Uganda's auditor general last month exposed the theft of funds meant for reconstruction in two impoverished regions.

It implicated officials in the prime minister's office.

"Norway has suspended any disbursements to Uganda government institutions until further clarification has been provided," said Ambassador Thorbjorn Gaustadsather, pointing out that Norway's total aid to Uganda amounts to about $70m a year.

Uganda's information minister, Mary Karoro, said the government was determined to punish all officials involved in embezzling the money that was meant to fund recovery efforts in northern areas after an insurgency by the Lord's Resistance Army in the 1990s and early 2000s.

"We are promising to get to the bottom of this scandal.

"Everyone involved will be prosecuted and all the money will be recovered." 

So far 12 government officials have been suspended over the theft.

Two of them have been charged in court, said the spokesperson for the prime minister's office.

Aid accounts for about 25% of Uganda's annual budget and cutting the funds would put key public investments in health and education at risk in Africa's largest coffee exporter.

  • hannah.p.mostert - 2012-11-06 21:37

    Hooray they are waking up no more aid for corrupt africa

  • neal.badenhorst - 2012-11-06 21:53

    Who is the main loser of institutionalised corruption? And here the South African president is hinting that "the law" is standing in the way of "african solutions to african problems". God help us all

  • alf.pop - 2012-11-06 21:54

    When will they suspend aid to South Africa, after one of their citizens got stabbed in South Africa?

      Werewabbit - 2012-11-06 23:24

      We get aid from Norway? I didn't know that.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-07 11:05

      SA doesn't get any significant aid from foreign donors. They might fund some few NGOs here and there, and that is just about it!

  • james.hurley.1401 - 2012-11-06 22:06

    This is classic - the Ugandan politicians who want the death penalty for gay people and harp on about how homosexuality was brought from the West don't mind accepting AND stealing millions of dollars in donations. What a joke.

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-07 11:04

    The EU/west should cut all sorts of aid to Africa as this will enable these so called leaders to stop abdicating their responsibilities and be accountable to their citizenry who will be funding the fiscas!

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