2 November 2012

Uganda: PM Denies Depositing Aid Money On Private Account

Analysts say it requires an overhaul of government officials and the entire system to erase the multitude of graft scandals. This follows the ... ( Resource: The Coruption Cancer in Uganda's Govt )

Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has denied reports that he deposited donor money on his private bank account and threatened to drag the UK's Daily Mail newspaper to courts of law for connecting him to the fraud in his office.

"This is false. It has no basis and I think is a figment of the author's imagination. I have never received nor has anyone ever alleged that I received money from British or any of aid into my private account," Mbabazi said Thursday.

Mbabazi said that it is true there was mismanagement of public funds including outright theft. "This discovery was a result of investigations sanctioned by me as the Prime Minister when the accounting officer informed me that he was suspicious of the conduct of some of the conduct of some officials in the Ministry," Mbabazi said.

He said that it is his office that requested for the Police investigation and the special audit that was done by the Auditor General.

"These reports which are a subject of discussion are a result of this. The Uganda Government is responsible and is in control of these investigations. We have taken action so far as a result of these investigations including prosecution and interdiction and more action is awaited pending investigations," he said.

When asked about the effect of the donors' freezing of development aid support because of the fraud, Mbabazi said that it would have "a very negative impact on the country."

He said, however, that the action that is taken by the Government is not prompted by the donors, but by the necessity to deal with the crime and the culprits.

"The point is theft; whether it is aid or Ugandans' taxes. The point is why should it happen at all?

He said that during the meeting with the donors, he asked them to help with investigations to ensure that loopholes revealed by this fraud are plugged. Asked the kind of help he was specifically referring to, Mbabazi said that those who offer to help would also decide the kind of help they would offer.

Earlier, while using his twitter handle @AmamaMbabazi, he also responded to public questions and described the Daily Mail article as a "a wild one."

In one message he wrote, "The Mail Online is telling lies. It is fiction. Into which private bank account was this money paid and by who?" And in another tweet the Prime Minister said, "I have asked my lawyers to study that false and malicious report by the Daily Mail and advise me on possible remedy available to me."

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