By Spy Uganda
Kampala: The government of Uganda via the Ministry of Finance has officially announced to the Danish government the suspension of their global funder Democratic Governance Facility.
According to the letter dated February 17, 2021, addressed to the Danish Ambassador to Uganda, Minister Kasaija officially told the Danish government that the suspension of the Memorandum Of Understanding on the running of the Democratic Governance Facility in Uganda.
“Following an internal review of the various aspects of the program including its implementation modalities and having noted that certain approval processes were not followed prior to the adoption of the program, the government of Uganda has in accordance with section 10 of the aforesaid Memorandum of Understanding, decided to wholly suspend the implementation of the program, pending further engagement between itself and the different contributors to the program with a view to generating consensus on the most suitable implementation mechanism,” Kashaija said.
The development comes at a time when the Democratic Governance Facility communicated to its partners the suspension of funding of the various programs they have been funding.
In an email to all its partners, Nicole Bjerler, the DGF head in Uganda informed them that the biggest NGO donor fund will not be funding their activities until further notice.
“Kindly also note that the FMU [facility management unit] will not be making any disbursements until the situation is resolved,” Bjerler said in the email.
Why Museveni Suspended DGF In Uganda?
President Yoweri Museveni in January 2021, ordered the Ministry of Finance, to shut down the activities of the £100 million (UGX500.8 billion) Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) accusing the organization of operating irregularly and financing subversive activities in his peaceful country.
Museveni wrote, “It has come to my attention that the Ministry of Finance under the hand of the Permanent Secretary, irregularly and unilaterally authorized a £100 million fund, known as the Democratic Governance Facility, to be operated exclusively by a foreign mission in Uganda. Unlike prior grant arrangements like the Democratic Governance and Accountability project in which there were transparency and representations, the Government of Uganda has no say or oversight on how the Democratic Governance Facility is administered in Uganda.
The president also accused DGF funders and managers of denying the government a seat on its board, thereby denying it an opportunity to monitor the usage of these funds.
“I have also established that last year, the Ministry of Finance made a belated and feeble attempt to get a Government Representative on the Board of this fund which would have been of little consequence anyway. However, you were quickly and arrogantly rebuffed by the foreign mission because apparently as you were reminded by that foreign mission, the exclusive management of the fund lies with them and oversight is by the foreign co-founders, exclusively,” Museveni further said.
“How is it possible that the Ugandans whose affairs are being dealt with here, can only be spectators in the management of their own affairs? This is not the financing of a private business but the funding of state and non-state actors to achieve the political objectives of the funders in Uganda. How and why did the Ministry of finance, unilaterally make such a major decision with far-reaching consequences, let alone, one whose effect is to surrender the sovereignty of the people of Uganda to foreigners? Was this a result of subversion, corruption or criminal negligence, or all of these? Why wasn’t the Cabinet and I consulted?” he quizzed Kasaija. This is unacceptable,” he added.
“I am therefore directing you to immediately, suspend the activities of this fund until the cabinet has fully reviewed this matter and a new governance structure in which the elected representatives of the people of Uganda have appropriate oversight, has been put in place and approved by me,” he said, adding that a full investigation should be launched into the errant government officials at Ministry of Finance.