Finance minister, Matia Kasaija has at long last written to the Danish ambassador to Uganda, Nicolaj Itejberg Peterson, formally communicating government’s decision to suspend activities of the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF).
The Danish ambassador is the delegated manager of the facility funded by various European governments namely, Denmark, Ireland, Austria, the UK, Sweden, Norway and the European Union (EU).
In his letter dated February 17, Kasaija said the suspension of the program follows a discovery that certain approval processes were not followed.
“Following an internal review of the various aspects of the program including its implementation modalities, and having noted that certain approval processes were not followed prior to the adoption of the program, the government of Uganda has in accordance with Section 10 of the (Program support Memorandum of Understanding), decided to wholly suspend the implementation of the program, pending further engagement between itself and the different contributors to the program with a view to generate consensus on the most suitable implementation mechanism,” Kasaija’s letter partly reads.
Kasaija’s letter was written on the eve of President Yoweri Museveni’s meeting with the delegation of EU ambassadors at State House, Entebbe, days after the European Parliament passed a resolution to slap sanctions against some Ugandan government officials “responsible for human rights violations before, during and after the January 14 general elections.”
It remains unclear why Kasaija waited for all this long to deliver the letter to its addressee.
On Saturday, the Ministry of Finance spokesman, Jim Mugunga, told The Witness that the ministry hadn’t communicated to DGF Museveni’s directive to suspend facility’s activities.
This was after information leaked to this website that the donor facility had asked its partners to prepare to wind up activities under its funding by this month’s end.
“That could be a decision they made themselves because the President had a meeting with the EU [European Union] delegation, I don’t think it could have been outside the issues they discussed,” Mugunga said.
On January 2, Museveni wrote to Kasaija instructing him to immediately suspend DGF activities but Kasaija hesitated and instead wrote back to tell Museveni that the intelligence services had given him wrong information.
Earlier today, we reported that the DGF head in Uganda, Nicole Bjerler on Sunday sent out an email sent to the various entities the facility has been funding to suspend their activities for the time being.