Ugandan Embassy in Denmark officials recalled over embezzlement

The Head of Mission Copenhagen is Madhvani Nimisha Elly (R), and her deputy Kamahungye Kafeero

Copenhagen, Denmark | URN |The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has recalled staff at the Ugandan Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark implicated in a scam planning to embezzle unspent embassy funds.

In an audio clip that has circulated widely, the embassy staff who were attending a Zoom meeting discussed how to share the unspent funds for the 2019/2020 financial year.

In the Zoom meeting, the diplomats agreed on how much each of the three top diplomats and the junior staff would get as per diem despite not doing any work.

The team in the audio also appeared to discuss a plan on how to bribe the auditors citing similar previous incidents at the Uganda Embassy in Switzerland. In the audio, the officials say they will disguise the unspent funds amounting to $4,000 (about Shs 14.6m) as their per diem for 8 days.  

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Patrick Mugoya on Monday 24th, August 2020 said that the staff implicated have been recalled pending investigations in the matter. However, Mugoya did not reveal the names of the implicated staff.

“The Ministry in consultation with the permanent secretary/secretary to the treasury and the Auditor General will carry out a thorough investigation into this matter. In the meantime, the officers implicated have been recalled to the headquarters to pave way for investigations,” Mugoya said in a press statement.

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The Head of Mission Copenhagen is Madhvani Nimisha Elly, Kamahungye Kafeero the deputy head of the mission, Alex Hope Mukubwa, the accounting officer, Gordon Katureebe, the first secretary, and Richard Biribonwoha, the third secretary among others.  

According to the Public Finance Management Act, unspent funds are supposed to be returned to the Consolidated Fund. Foreign Affairs says it is disturbed by the allegations and necessary measures were going to be put in place to mitigate such from happening again.