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Uganda warned over corruption

KAMPALA, Mar 5 – Uganda\’s donors have threatened to withdraw or cut back their assistance to the east Africa country unless it reins in on corruption, according to a document seen by AFP Thursday.

World Bank country manager Kundhavi Kadiresan, in a speech to diplomats and government officials last week, said there was "an undeniable lack of government action to follow up on cases of grand corruption".

"The government\’s failure to act on high-level corruption will have implications," Kadiresan said. "This may include withholding disbursements, reductions in aid or reprogramming away from direct budget support."

Kadiresan is the head of the Local Development Partners Group which includes the United States, Britain, United Nations, Japan, France and several other European nations.

The World Bank official said corruption was "endemic" in Uganda and cited as an example the disappearance of 27 million dollars (nearly 20 million euros) during Kampala\’s hosting of the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

Senior ruling party officials have been implicated in the scandal during an ongoing parliamentary inquiry, but there have been no criminal investigations so far.

She estimated that Uganda loses as much as 100 million dollars each year in shoddy procurement contracts.

Donor nations provide approximately 35 percent of Uganda\’s annual national budget and the country\’s education and health budgets are almost entirely donor funded.

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