Foreign Affairs Ministry has been blamed for the underutilization of education scholarships offered to the Government of Uganda through the country’s embassies and missions abroad.
Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chaired by Nathan Nandala Mafabi tasked officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs led by its Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Patrick Mugoya to explain why out of 339 scholarships secured in the Financial Year 2018/19, only 91 scholarships were utilized .
The committee members through the Auditor General’s report also discovered that other 248 scholarships were not taken up out of the total scholarships secured.
The Auditor general report reveals that Uganda’s embassy in Berlin-Germany secured 75 scholarships but they were not utilized, Brussels embassy got 100 and used 40, Rome embassy secured 84 and only utilized 4 and Uganda’s embassy at Algiers in Algeria secured 80 but failed to use 33 scholarships.
The Auditor general had recommended that the ministry of foreign Affairs permanent secretary Ambassador Mugoya establishes the status of these scholarships secured by all missions abroad and ensure that there is improvement in utilization of secured scholarships in the future.
Responding to MPs’ queries, the Head of Consular Service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Michael Karugaba said that these scholarships are not directly offered to Uganda but to developing countries and some are picked by Uganda’s embassies.
However, the committee members faulted the ministry of foreign Affairs for not playing its role of ensuring that those supposed to get the scholarships benefit.
Mafabi directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary to avail to a committee a list of persons who received the scholarships at the embassies within seven days.