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Coronavirus: Uganda demands Sh5.5m it erroneously sent to its students in China

Ugandan Finance Permanent Secretary Keith Muhakanizi on Tuesday ordered the Ugandan Embassy in Beijing, China to refund excess money that was mistakenly sent to its account to bail out students caught up in the coronavirus pandemic.

The Cabinet had recently authorised the ministry to send Sh620,000 ($61,800) to help students stranded in China. But instead, the Ministry of Finance transferred more Sh6 million ($600,000).

Muhakanizi now wants the Embassy to transfer Sh5.5 million ($538,200) back to the Contingency Fund with immediate effect.

“As you’re aware, on 28th of February, this Ministry (Ministry of Finance) transferred USD 600,000 through the Ugandan Mission in Beijing to support affected students. However, upon receipt of the Cabinet extract number, we noted that there’s a discrepancy between the amounts therein and that in the letter from the Ministry of Education and Sports,” Muhakanizi said in a letter to the embassy.

The letter.

Purpose of the letter

Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga had directed the Prime Minister to provide the government’s strategy to help Ugandans in China on February 12, 2020.

“The situation is really bad, there is no food, the banks are closed, and there is no transport. They are going to starve. You should support all the children in universities with basics as you hold your night meetings,” Kadaga said.

She said the strategy should include immediate and ultimate interventions towards Ugandans in China.

Coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan, China in January and has since spread to other countries across the world.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), coronavirus is a strange type of virus that causes respiratory illness which they are still investigating on how it affects people, how they can be treated, and what countries can do to respond.