At the beginning of last year, government’s containment measures in response to Covid-19 including lockdowns, quarantines, and restrictions on labour mobility and travel resulted in downturns in most service sector activities.
The effects adversely affected the economy and the other sectors.
Government acquired loans, received grants from various sources as well as donations from citizens and well-wishers to address the effects of the pandemic.
However many sector players claimed that the borrowed money never reached its intended beneficiaries.
Now, the ministry of Finance has ordered an audit into the accountability of the money that the government borrowed from both the domestic and foreign markets to deal with the effects of Covid-19.
The acting Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Finance and Secretary to the Treasury, Patrick Ocailap made this revelation at a post-budget conference held at Statistics house.
He revealed that a fully detailed report on the Covid-19 cash expenditure will be released in September and it will cover expenditures of government entities.
He noted that the ministry is going to conduct an audit into money which was borrowed to support several sectors.
“When you borrow money, we expect that money to contribute to the growth of economy. Now when it is not absorbed, that growth is missed. If I plan for a project and don’t implement it, it [money] is misused,”he said.
He explained that the audit will give a clear sense of direction on the way forward in case there is any mismanagement of funds.
Despite the impact of Covid-19, he said the Ugandan economy grew by 3.3% during the Financial Year (FY) 2020/2021 compared to the revised 3.0% registered in FY 2019/2020 adding that size of the economy in nominal terms increased to Shs148, 278 billion in 2020/21 from Shs139, 711 billion in 2019/20.
Ocailap explained that the budget will focus on interventions which will sustain recovery from the socio-economic setbacks caused by Covid-19 and other domestic shocks such as the locust invasion and floods and external shocks such as supply disruptions caused by lockdowns world over, and trade barriers that affected export of some commodities.