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Church of Uganda sued for diverting malaria money

KAMPALA- Church of Uganda (CoU) has been sued for allegedly diverging Shs100 million ($31,482) it received to run anti malaria projects in the country.
The church has been dragged to the High Court in Kampala by the Aids Support Organisation (TASO).

In the suit, TASO contends that it received a grant for the implementation of Global Fund Round 10 Malaria and entrusted the activities with the CoU.

TASO contends that it extended Shs2.6 billion to the religious institution.

In the Memorandum of Understanding, according to court records, CoU was supposed to fully comply with the terms of the agreement by ensuring the utilisation of the funds solely for it purposes consistent with the terms of the agreement.

The agreement also demanded that the CoU uses the money to implement the approved project activities detailed in the work plan and budget; immediately refund misdirected and diverted funds or losses resulting from the unauthorised transactions and refrain from re-allocation of funds within the budget categories without their permission.

However, according to the suit, an audit that was carried out discovered that the defendant(CoU) incurred ineligible expenses some of which resulted from re-allocation of funds without seeking prior express written permission of the plaintiff’s (TASO) executive director which was contrary to the terms of the agreement.

The findings of the audit were shared with the defendant, according to the TASO suit.

“Having conducted various audit reviews, it was concluded that indeed the defendant had incurred ineligible expenses amounting over Shs100 million,” the suit read in part.

The court documents further indicate that CoU admitted to the fact that it had incurred ineligible expenses and on several occasions communicated its willingness to refund the money but nothing has been refunded to date.

The suit further stated that TASO has since August 2017 demanded a refund of $ 31,482 its equivalent in Uganda Shillings as per the current Bank of Uganda exchange rate being the ineligible expenses but its request and demands have proved futile.

Through Nagawa Associated Advocates, TASO intends to lead evidence to show and prove that CoU breached the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding and failed to ensure prudent management and utilisation of funds consistent with the terms of the agreement.

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