We need answers from gov’t over refugee scam

Parliament demands answers from gov’t over refugee scam

Parliament has asked the government to come out clean over a scam that has engulfed the Office of Prime Minister (OPM) where ghost refugees were created on databases while relief items for refugees were also mismanaged.

The publications of last week exposed wrongdoings in the government and donor agencies handling refugees in Uganda, with allegations ranging from inflation of refugee numbers and exhortation from refugees by government officials.

Some refugees were required to pay bribes in order to get registered, while scholarships meant for refugees were awarded to Ugandans in a scandal that has dented Ugansda’s reputation as a safe haven for refugees.

The United Nations has already put the government on notice over the scam and Parliament this afternoon added its voice of condemnation, demanding that the Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda clears the air over what is going wrong with refugees’ money and relief items.

Kasilo County MP, Elijah Okupa, said the refugee scam has tainted the good image that Uganda had built by providing sanctuary to refugees, warning that refugees are no longer safe in Uganda with risks of kidnap and abduction.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga demanded that the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN agency in-charge of refugees, also come out with an explanations regarding how the refugee scam unfolded.