The United Nations has said it has no space for corruption, fraud, trafficking of women and girls in connection to allegations that millions of shillings meant for refugees was swindled by officials in the Department of Refugees in the Office of the Prime Minister.
Ms Rosa Malango, the UN Resident Coordinator in Uganda, in a statement, said the allegations are of concern to the UN as they go against the principles and values enshrined in the UN Charter.
Ms Malango said allegations such as gross mismanagement, malpractices in the registration of refugees, fraud, corruption, trafficking of girls and women, and threats to UN staff were uncovered through the UN’s periodic reviews of the refugee response operation as well as hotlines for whistleblowers.
“Our deep concern about the allegations led us to take action. The UN System in Uganda brought these concerns to the attention of the Prime Minister. We called for investigations into the allegations by the Government. In addition, we raised these concerns with our respective headquarters,” she said in a statement on Thursday.
The UN Resident Coordinator said they are committed to collaborating with Government, to ensure due process is followed.
“We are committed to ensuring that anyone found culpable is brought to justice,” she added.
She also revealed that they have communicated to partners the internal administrative and oversight measures being put in place to get to the bottom of the allegations.
Ms Malango also revealed that at the request of the Government, the globally acclaimed UNHCR biometric system will be used to verify the refugee population. She said the UNHCR system ensures that a refugee cannot be registered twice as it captures a wide range of features including 10 fingerprints and two iris scans. It is a proven and reliable tool used in 48 countries.
She, however, commended Uganda for opening up to welcome refugees.