TASO takes on COU over diversion of malaria funds

Church of Uganda Archbishop Stanley Ntagali. The Church of Uganda has been dragged to court by TASO on allegations of embezzling funds received to run malaria fighting in Uganda.

KAMPALA – The Church of Uganda has been dragged to court for allegedly diverting over Shs 100m funds that it received to run projects to combat malaria in the country.

In asuit filed before the High Court Civil Division, The Aids Support Organisation (TASO) an indigenous HIV and AIDS service initiative says that it received a grant from Global fund Round 10 malaria and health systems strengthening grant activities from July 2013-April 2014 that it entrusted the church to run the same projects.

TASO contends that it disbursed a total sum of Shs2.6b to the Church to run projects aimed at strengthening health systems, run malaria activities and overhead costs.

In the memorandum of understanding according to the court records, Church of Uganda was at all times obligated to fully comply with the terms of the agreement by ensuring the utilization of the funds solely for the purposes consistent with the terms of the agreement.

Among the funded and approved activities were; to support the training of Village Health teams, and to support district transport systems of CD4s and blood samples to and from laboratories.

TASO however says after carrying out several review audits, it was established that the Church incurred ineligible expenses resulting from re-allocation and diversion of funds to different activities without seeking permission from TASO executive Director.

”That having conducted various audit reviews, it was concluded that indeed the defendant had incurred ineligible expenses amounting over Shs100m”. reads in part the court documents.

A medical personnel draws a blood sample from a young girl for the malaria test Kamuli Mission Hospital in Busoga region (FILE PHOTO)

That on several occasions, TASO says the church has admitted diverting these funds and showed willingness to refund the lost expenses but since August 2017, no payment has been done.

TASO further contends that because of the Church’s actions, its relationship with a major Health funder-Global fund is strained to the extent that it has stopped funding most of its projects until the said money is recovered from the Church.

TASO also seeks Damages for breach of contract. Court is yet to summon Church of Uganda for a response.



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