In another move for Ugandan officials at the Denmark embassy to award themselves unspent money during the 2019/2020 financial year, it has been revealed that they spent the money on a mattress, bed, carpet, and a sofa set.
It should be noted, however, that the items were never purchased but returned to the sellers and the amount recouped through a private account.
A document seen by Nile Post implicates Deputy Ambassador Elly Kamahungye and accounting officer Alex Hope Mukubwa who ordered Danske Bank in Denmark to effect payments of 68,044 Danish Krone (Shs40m) for the purchase of among other items; bed, mattress, carpet, and sofa.
On the 29th of June 2020, while trying to make sure no money would be returned to the national treasury because it was approaching the end of the financial year 2019/20 and due to COVID 19 lockdown, there had not been any activities to consume that money.
Hence the embassy decided to spend Shs40m to purchase the items for Richard Biribonwoha, who happens to be the third secretary at the embassy.
The embassy ordered for a mattress at Shs17m (Dkk28,898) as per invoice number 5206808150, a carpet at Shs4m (Dkk8,398), and a sofa set at Shs14.5m (Dkk24,608) among other items.
The items would later be paid for by the embassy on June 29th, 2020 on the instruction of Mukubwa.
However, due to COVID lockdown, there was a delay in delivery and the items were delivered later on August 4th to an address 2920 Charlottenlund, which has since been identified as the home of Biribonwoha.
Biribonwoha is said to have used the return policy to decline the mattress and instead ask that the money be refunded but to his private account instead of the embassy corporate account.
On August 12 2020 Lva company officials appeared at the residence and picked the mattress which they returned to their stores.
The move is seen as a manipulation of the accounts since auditors can not see that the money only changed accounts but was never spent in the actual sense.
“Here they only keep and manipulate the payment receipts which they received earlier at purchase without tallying with items bought since the Auditors don’t do a physical check for the items bought. Usually, when auditors come, they check for the receipts tallying with money deducted from the Embassy corporate account which leads to an anomaly of public funds being swindled. There are so many other such transactions at the Embassy,” a source claimed.
“If the office of the Auditor-General was not corrupt, all these kinds of the transaction could have been detected however, they are bribed when they come for auditing as you heard Ambassador Kamahungye confess in the audio that they keep hard cash in the safe to bribe the auditors and fail to document their findings,” the source adds.
Just recently, a leaked audio-clip has exposed a number of diplomatic staff at the Ugandan Embassy in Denmark who were discussing how to share government money that they were not able to spend during the 2019/2020 financial year.
When contacted by this reporter, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Amb. Moses Kasujja Kasule referred as to the press release that the ministry released last week.
The ministry said that it does not condone corruption and any use of public funds will adhere have to adhere to ‘principals of transparency and efficiency.’
“Any deviation by any officer will be met appropriate sanctions as provided for in the Public Finance and Management Act, and Regulations,” the ministry said last week.