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OPM Refugee Scandal | Uganda Investigates Allegations of Refugee Aid Fraud

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Posted February 8, 2018 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Refugee Crisis ~ 502 views

     

Reuters — The East African country hosts more than 1 million people who fled war in neighboring South Sudan and some 400,000 more from Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo, a massive aid operation that whistleblowers said had become subject to fraud.

“The government took them (allegations from U.N. agencies) seriously and immediately instituted an investigation,” Julius Mucunguzi, spokesman for the prime minister’s office, which overseas refugee affairs, told Reuters.

The U.N. agencies have demanded from Uganda “a proper audit on the (refugee) numbers because the process for verification … has not been robust enough.”

“And related to that is food, so if the numbers are not right, how much food is going to who?” Mucunguzi said. “They want a value for money audit.”

As refugee numbers surged since mid-2016, donors responded to urgent appeals for extra aid. The European Union, a major donor, said the allegations had been forwarded to its own anti-fraud office for investigation.

“It is indeed of utmost importance to address swiftly and thoroughly any allegations of malfeasance in order not to impair … public support from the European taxpayers,” the EU delegation in Uganda said in a statement.

Corruption is widespread in Uganda and successful prosecutions are rare, with courts usually targeting low ranking officials.

Mucunguzi said although it was too early to say whether the allegations were true: “It’s likely that there may be malice, and people wanting to tarnish a good program.”

Source — Reuters and NBS Morning Breeze video.


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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

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