Finance Minister Matia Kasaija used yesterday’s signing ceremony of the new $226 million (about Shs740 billion) Global Fund grant to warn corrupt government officials who might be tempted to swindle the money, saying the law will catch up with them.
Mr Kasaija, whose ministry is one of the principle recipients of the grant, said all accounting officials should refrain from diverting the funds meant to offer care and treatment for HIV/Aids, malaria and tuberculosis patients in the country.
“Government will ensure that these funds are used and accounted for under the new Public Finance Management Act, and I am warning accounting officers that anyone who is involved in messing up this fund will be laid off as you have seen in the media where some have already been dismissed,” said Mr Kasaija.
The ministry of Finance is the principal recipient of $176 million (about 570 billion) meant for the support of Uganda’s fight against HIV/Aids together with another $21 million (Shs68b) intending to support the country’s prevention of TB, $14 million (Shs46b) for health systems strengthening.
The Aids Support Organisation (TASO), which is the second principal recipient of the funds, will receive $6 million (Shs19b) for the beefing up HIV/Aids response in the non-public sector. The grants are an additional to the $148m (Shs480b) malaria grant which was signed in December last year.
Speaking as the chief guest, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda appreciated the Global Fund for its continuous support towards the health of Ugandans.
“We will provide the leadership and governance required to ensure programmatic and financial accountability and credibility to all our development and implementing partners,” Dr Rugunda said.
On behalf of Global Fund, Mr Linden Morrison, the head of the Grant Management Department, said: “We want vigilance in management of the resources to ensure the programmes receive the desired goals through saving the lives of children, mothers and contributing the economic development of this country.”
The Minister of Health, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye also reiterated that he will provide transparency and accountability of the funds as the line minister.
Breakdown of the shs740b funding
Amount to go to the Finance ministry for the fight against HIV/Aids
Amount to support the country’s prevention of tuberculosis
Amount allocated for health systems strengthening.
Source: Daily Monitor