UDC diverts investment funds to operations

Monday March 29 2021

A report by the Auditor General indicates that nearly Shs10b was diverted. PHOTO/COURTESY

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

Uganda Development Corporation (UDC), one of government’s investment arms, diverted development funds to operations, according to the Auditor General. 

Details contained in the Auditor General’s report for the period ended June 2020 found that UDC diverted a total of Shs9.4b, which represented 20 per cent of the investment budget, to operations thus occasioning failure in fulfilling UDC’s core mandate of undertaking sustainable investment for social and economic transformation. 

In his report, Auditor General John Muwanga, said: “Because of this [diversion], there was no progress in the implementation of projects such as Luweero Fruit Factory, Zombo Tea Factory and Moroto Cement Factory despite providing a combined funding of Shs6.4b.”

The Auditor General also found that out of the Shs60.6b, which had been provided including balance brought forward from the prior year, only Shs48.1b was spent, which represented an absorption level of 79 per cent. 

When contacted about the Auditor General’s queries, Mr Ham Mugenyi, the UDC chairman, declined to comment, saying his tenure had expired six months ago.  

“I cannot make any comment because our [board] term ended last year and there is no sign of a renewal. I can only channel you to the executive director who is the accounting officer,” he said.  Efforts to get a comment from Mr Patrick Birungi, the UDC executive director were futile as his know telephone contacts went unanswered by press time.  


Other queries 

The Auditor General also noted that UDC had not taken over government interests in projects, among them Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort and Amber House. It was also noted that procurements worth Shs307m were undertaken using direct procurement contrary to the law.