Government has finalized plans to have cabinet vet all support going to Non- Governmental Organisations(NGOs) from donors.
According to a September 6, 2021 letter, the Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija has informed development partners that in a bid to ensure the people of Uganda obtain maximum assistance from donor assistance, the government has issued several guidelines to be followed.
“All projects and programs implemented by development partners will require prior approval of Cabinet before signature by the Minister of Finance and implementation,” Kasaija’s letter to the various ambassadors reads in part.
The government insists that donors should submit the projects and programmes to the Minister of Finance in advance to enable timely internal clearances.
“Prior consultation with the respective ministries, departments, agencies, and sectors is advised to ensure adequate internal discussions during Cabinet deliberations.”
All development assistance will now be reported on budget and all projects plus programs shall be reported and appropriated by Parliament including those whose accounts will be managed off the treasury single account.
Minister Kasaija says in the letter that donors should prepare jointly with the government the country’s strategic papers to ensure that the proposed support is in line with Vision 2040 and the National Development Plan III.
“These strategy papers should be prepared in consultation with all stakeholders including the private sector and relevant civil society organizations. They should also be signed off by the Minister responsible for Finance in line with Uganda’s laws and in the spirit of ownership.”
According to the new guidelines, all projects and programs funded by donors in Uganda shall be signed off by the Minister for Finance to ensure that “there is no duplication”.
In the same vein, all projects and programs are to be implemented together with and in consultation with the respective government departments and agencies.
The development comes on the backdrop of the suspension of the Democratic Governance Facility by the government earlier this year.
In a January 2, 2021 letter suspending DGF’s activities, President Museveni said he needs answers as to why and how the Ministry of Finance authorized a £100 million (shs500.8 billion) fund to operate illegally in the country without the involvement of the cabinet.
“It has come to my attention that the Ministry of Finance under the hand of the Permanent Secretary, irregularly and unilaterally authorized a £100 million fund, known as the Democratic Governance Facility, to 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.
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.”
The closure of DGF’s activities has since affected more than 100 NGOs and affect some of the projects run by government agencies.
The Uganda Media Centre Executive Director, Ofwono Opondo recently said DGF was being used to fund opposition political parties, especially the National Unity Platform headed by Robert Kyagulanyi, the biggest challenger to President Museveni in the just-concluded 2021 polls.