The Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) has informed its partners that they are in talks with government to see how to solve the impasse involving the suspension of their activities.
President Museveni in January ordered for the suspension of DGF activities but also directed the Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija to explain why and how his ministry authorized a £100 million (shs500.8 billion) fund(DGF) to operate illegally in the country without the involvement of cabinet.
In a February, 17 letter, Kasaija wrote to the Danish Ambassador to Uganda officially informing him of the suspension of the Memorandum Of Understanding on the running of the Democratic Governance Facility in Uganda.
However, in a February 21, 2021 communication to partners, Nicole Bjerler, the DGF head in Uganda said development partners are having a constructive dialogue with government over the impasse.
“This is to provide you with a brief update on the situation of the DGF. A series of meetings have been held over the last weeks between our development partners and government counterparts and this constructive dialogue will continue also going forward,”Bjerler told the partners.
The DGF head however urged partners to for the meantime refrain from organizing any public DGF-funded activities for the next two weeks as they try to solve the impasse.
“We will make sure to provide further updates as and when we have them on overall developments. From the FMU(facility management unit) side,, we will refrain from engaging in any public comment or debate on the DGF as the government and development partners continue to engage in constructive dialogue.”
On Tuesday, the Daily Monitor, quoting sources said President Museveni has ordered for the formation of a committee to expedite talks with donors of the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) to resolve the fallout with the government.
“The team, which will be headed by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, was given two weeks to accomplish the task.It comprises of Uganda government officials and representatives of countries contributing to the DGF funding basket,” Daily Monitor said on Tuesday.
President Museveni had in his suspension letter in January said that he was perturbed by the manner in which the Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary had irregularly and unilaterally authorized such a big fund be operated exclusively by a foreign mission in Uganda.
“Unlike prior grant arrangements like the Democratic Governance and Accountability project in which there was transparency and representations the Government of Uganda has no say or oversight on how the Democratic Governance Facility is administered in Uganda,” Museveni said in the letter to Minister Kasaija.
The visibly angry Museveni said in the letter that he had learnt that a big percentage of the shs500.8 billion went into financing activities and organizations meant to subvert government “in the name of the improving governance.”
However, Minister Kasaija was quoted saying that the President had been fed on wrong intelligence information.
By the look of things, both government and the development partners seems to have got a headway in resolving the Democratic Government Facility impasse and if all goes according to plan, the suspension might soon be lifted.