By Acaye Henry .
The Government has announced it’s going to carry out a fresh verification exercise following reports accusing O. P. M officials of squandering money meant for refugees.
The fresh scandal in the O. P. M involving millions of dollars and other resources meant for refugees is in connection with creation of ghost refugees whose money is reportedly eaten up by officials from OPM and United Nation High Commission for Refugees.
The Minister of Disaster preparedness and refugees, Eng.Hilary Onek says government feels betrayed by the acts of its officials to divert money and other resources meant for the unprivileged people like refugees and says government has now deployed it’s internal audit mechanisms to investigate the allegations.
One says teams have started a re verification exercise using the biometric registration of United Nations.
Uganda is home to 1.4 million refugees with the biggest number of these coming from South Sudan due to the ongoing conflict.
The Minister says parallel investigation by the development partners into the scandal, government has also started its own investigations into the matter which he said has embarrassment them.
Onek explains that despite each refugee being registered, OPM officials ignored use of biometric system while giving out resources like food to them and it was through this process that the money and resources squandered.
He however said that investigations into the scam will help strengthen the loopholes in the system of handling refugees.
The United Nations recently wrote to the Ugandan government demanding for an investigation into the alleged corruption and fraud that led to loss of huge sums of money meant for refugees. He says administrative and oversight measures being put in place to get to the bottom of the allegations. The UN has no space for corruption, fraud, trafficking of women and girls or intimidation
The US embassy and their counterparts from the European Union last week asked government to take action on all officials involved in the scandal before asking for a verification of all refugees in the country.
In Uganda,refugees are kept in camps found in Adjumani,Moyo,Yumbe,Arua,Lamwo,Kamwenge,Kiryandongo,Insingiro,Kyegegwa and Hoima districts.