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Uganda repaying €4 million in stolen Irish aid

Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs said the government of Uganda will repay €4 million that was diverted from an Irish aid package.

A report by the Irish Examiner said the Prime Minister of Uganda Patrick Amama Mbabazi 'denied any knowledge of the fraud through his office and insisted none of the missing money was ever paid to him.'

Two senior officials in Uganda are facing prosecution and 17 others have been suspended without pay during an investigation, the report said.

The Irish Foreign Affairs Minister, Eamon Gilmore, pictured above, said:

'It is my sincere hope that these actions indicate a renewed determination on the part of Ugandan authorities to tackle corruption, which is an affront to Ugandan citizens and the citizens of countries, such as Ireland, who have supported the country through very difficult times.'

The story said a total of €12 million in aid to Uganda from four donor countries including Ireland was deposited into unauthorized accounts. The aid was earmarked for education, policing, and fighting HIV and Aids.

Foreign aid has been blamed by commentators and others for perpetuating corruption and poverty in African countries.

Uganda ranked 143 on the Corruption Perceptions Index, tied with Nigeria and Russia, among others. It fell this year to 123 on the World Bank's Doing Business Index, which measures red tape. Per capita gross national income for Uganda's thirty-four million people is US$490, ranking 161 in the world.

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