Ugandan President Considers Appointing Commission To Investigate Global Fund’s Allegations of Grant Mismanagement
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday pledged to investigate alleged mismanagement that prompted the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to temporarily suspend its grants to the country, IRIN News reports (IRIN News, 8/26). The Global Fund on Wednesday announced its suspension of five grants to Uganda worth more than $200 million after an audit of one of the grants by PricewaterhouseCoopers found evidence of "serious mismanagement" by the Project Management Unit in the Ugandan Ministry of Health, a unit that was established to implement the grants. The audit showed discrepancies in exchange rates when grants in dollar amounts were converted into Ugandan shillings, according to the Financial Times. In addition, funds were not properly accounted for and invoices or receipts were missing for some expenditures. The audit found "no concrete evidence" of corruption or fraud, and the fund said it has not yet begun a full investigation, which will require a review of bank records and other personal information. The Global Fund has requested that the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, which serves as the principal recipient for the five grants, implement a new method of effectively managing the grants by the end of October (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/25). "I am very curious myself, and I am going to see what is wrong. I may even appoint a commission of inquiry to see what actually happened," Museveni said (Wasswa, Associated Press, 8/25). He added, "I sometimes doubt these international groups because sometimes they don't look serious to me, but this time they seem a bit more serious" (AFP/Yahoo! News, 8/25). Museveni said that the "fight against AIDS will continue" and noted that Uganda reduced its HIV prevalence rate from about 30% to 6% "long, long before the Global Fund came along" (Wallis, Reuters/Yahoo! News Singapore, 8/25).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.