President Museveni has warned officials from the Office of the Prime Minister involved in the abuse of funds meant for the refugees.
The OPM was hit with a fresh scandal involving its officials in which millions of dollars and other resources meant for refugees were chewed by creating ghost refugees whose money was taken by officials from OPM and United Nation High Commission for Refugees.
Museveni told journalists on Wednesday that he closely monitoring the situation and that the culprits will face the wrath of the law.
“Those stealing refugee money will go to jail. Luzira is waiting for them,”Museveni said during a press conference at the Kawumu demonstration farm in Luweero district on Wednesday afternoon.
“Prison is waiting for some people from OPM who stole refugee money.”
The president said that refugees are very important to Uganda not only for compassion purposes to them but for many other importances that the country benefits from.
Museveni noted that God will punish those who steal from the unprivileged like the refugees.
He warned that whoever plays with them by stealing and mistreating them makes a big mistake.
“I was a refugee in Tanzania for eight years and now I am a useful citizen. We should handle the refugees well not only for compassion but as a policy to increase our friends,”Museveni said.
“They say a dog that steals must have a strong back. Those who steal money for refugees will pay heavily for bringing shame to Uganda.”
The United Nations recently wrote to the Ugandan government demanding for an investigation into the alleged corruption and fraud that led to loss of huge sums of money meant for refugees.
“We have communicated to partners the internal administrative and oversight measures being put in place to get to the bottom of the allegations. The UN has no space for corruption, fraud, trafficking of women and girls or intimidation of UN staff,” UN resident coordinator Rosa Malango said in a statement early this week.
The US embassy and their counterparts from the European Union last week asked government to take action on all officials involved in the scandal before asking for a verification of all refugees in the country.
Uganda is home to over one million refugees with the biggest number of these coming from South Sudan due to the conflict in the country that broke out in 2013 between President Salva Kiir and his then vice president D.Riek Machar.