Uganda has recalled its envoy to Denmark for plotting to embezzle funds meant to aid in fight against the novel COVID-19.
Ambassador Nimisha Madhvani, her deputy Elly Kamahungye, the Minister Counsellor / Accounting Officer Alex Hope Mukubwa, and the First Secretary, Mr Gordon Katureebe, were caught red-handed in a Zoom call devising a plan to steal tax payers’ money.
Also present, the Daily Monitor indicates were Third Secretary / Head of Chancery, Mr Richard Biribonwoha, the Administrative Attache, Ms Sylvia Nambooze Kayongo, and Mr Mugisha Wilfred, the Immigration Attache.
The monies meant to cater to the needs of stranded Ugandans were instead going to be shared among those present during the meeting.
They are heard planning to split the money over a period of eight days.
In an audio clip circulating online, deputy head of mission is heard directing the money be brought to him after which it will be kept in safe.
He goes ahead to suggest that they divide the money over a period of two days and the remainder kept the said safe.
Recording: Uganda Ambassadors Nimisha Madhvani and Kamahungye plan Covid19 cash theft bonanza on Zoom. pic.twitter.com/R7cW3oWbds
— The ZMNews Laundry (@news_laundry) August 25, 2020
“Give yourselves $4,000,” Kamahungye is heard telling his subordinates.
Nimisha on the other hand, asks the staff members to find ways to spend the money.
Another officer is heard suggesting that they raise money to pay off auditors.
According to the Daily Monitor, three top diplomats involved in the scam were supposed to receive $3,120 while the juniors got some $2,160.
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On Monday, however, Uganda’s Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Patrick Mugoya said that the government does not condone corruption and as such, a thorough investigation will be carried out.
“The ministry wishes to express grave concern about the allegations contained in the article [in Daily Monitor of August 24] and takes this matter seriously. The ministry, in consultation with the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to Treasury and the Auditor General, will carry out a thorough investigation into the matter,” a statement read.
“In the meantime, the officers implicated have been recalled to the ministry headquarters to pave way for investigations.”
On Monday, Somalia jailed four government officials for their hand in the loss of funds meant for COVID-19.
Though it was not clear how much money had been lost, it was said that between $42,000 and $45,000 had been spent in unclear circumstances.
The four are ineligible for bail but can appeal their sentences in 30 days.