Ugandan Govt Seeks Return Of $600,000 Mistakenly Sent To China:
China has received a message from Ugandan Embassy asking return of $600,000 (Shs2 billion) ‘mistakenly sent’ in an effort to make transaction.
Sources stated that the mistake was made while the government was trying to send money to assist Ugandan students that have been endangered in Wuhan, China, owning to Coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
According to government, Uganda has about 105 students in Wuhan city Universities. 65 are known government sponsored students while 40 are on private sponsorship.
Mr Jim Mugunga, the Privatization Unit, and Ministry of Finance senior public relation officer revealed they have been in touch with the Embassy in Beijing and it has commenced processes of returning the funds.
Ministry of Finance has asked the Ugandan Embassy in China to return $538,200 (Shs2 billion) that was reportedly sent by mistake as part of the relief money for Ugandan students stranded in Wuhan, China, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak.
Also, the letter confirmed by the news source on March 10, is addressed to the Accounting Office, Uganda Embassy in Beijing signed by the Secretary to the Treasury Mr Keith Muhakanizi and copies addressed to the Minister for Education and Sports, Planning and Economic Development, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education and the Accountant General, Minister of Finance,
“As you are aware, on the 28th of February 2020, this ministry transferred $600,000 (Shs2.2 billion) to the Uganda Mission in Beijing to support the affected students. However, upon receipt of the cabinet extract, we noted that there is a discrepancy between the amounts therein and that stated in the letter from Ministry of Education and Sports,” the letter reads in part.
The letter further states that $600,000 (Shs2.2 billion) were requested by the Ministry of Education on 19th of February this year for mobilising and transfer of resources to support the affected students.
In a face to face interview with the Daily Monitor, Mr Alex Kakooza, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education said $600,000 (Shs2.2 billion) is the amount that was requested by the Ministry and passed by cabinet as well.
“The money we requested for was $600,000 (Shs2.2 billion) and that is the money that was passed by Cabinet, and that is the money that has been sent by Finance to our Embassy in China. The letter from the Minister (for Education) here to Finance which is in line with a cabinet extract is $600,000 (Shs2.2 billion) and that is what Finance has sent,” Mr Kakooza said during a previous interview.
According to the Ministry of Finance letter, further reference is made to the cabinet extract number 62 (CT2020) which authorised a release of $61,800 (Shs230 million) to support students in Wuhan city, China.
According to the statement presented to the lawmakers last month by Dr Ruth Jane Aceng, the Health Minister, on behalf of the Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, government was in the process of wiring $61,800 (Shs230 million).
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is aware about the challenges the students are facing as regards their welfare. As such, it is in the process of wiring $61,800 (Shs230 million) to support the students in the interim as more evaluation of the situation takes place,” reads the statement in part.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Finance has asked the Permanent secretary, Ministry of Education and Sports to clarify on the above discrepancy.
Ugandan government stressed that Uganda has more than 100 students in Wuhan city Universities China, about 65 students are government sponsored whereas, 40 are studying on their own.
The Privatization Unit, and Ministry of Finance senior public relation officer Mr Jim Mugunga, stated that they have been in touch with the Embassy in Beijing and it has started the process of restoration.
“We had an emergency as a Country, a decision was made to facilitate students who are caught out in Wuhan in China due to the Corona epidemic. We acted on the instructions to remit monies to facilitate them in the situation, following receipt of the record that clarifies the amount that was approved, we have written a letter that recalls the excess funds that were remitted back to Uganda,” Mr Mugunga said on Tuesday.
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Image source: Daily Monitor