Uganda on Monday recalled its ambassador to Denmark and her deputy, after the pair were recorded apparently plotting in a Zoom meeting to steal funds meant to deal with the Covid-19 crisis.
During the meeting, a video of which circulated on social media, the Ambassador Nimisha Madhvani, her deputy and other staff members are heard devising a plot to share out money which was meant to aid stranded citizens.
They appear to suggest that instead of registering the money for Covid-19 use, it should be apportioned as an allowance over eight days for the diplomats.
“Give yourselves $4,000… deputy ambassador Elly Kamahungye is heard to say, admitting there would be “jumbled accounts” while recalling how diplomats were able to bribe auditors to shelve a previous probe into embassy accounts.
“Let’s get a day and share the money. It should be kept in a safe by the time auditors come,” Kamuhungye is heard saying.
Nimisha herself suggests that staff members “find a way” to use the money.
Uganda’s foreign ministry’s permanent secretary Patrick Mugoya pledged a full investigation in a statement Monday, saying “the ministry wishes to express grave concern about the allegations … and takes this matter seriously”.
“In the meantime, the officers implicated have been recalled to the ministry headquarters to pave way for the investigations.”
Nimisha Jayant Madhvani is a female Ugandan diplomat, who serves as Uganda’s Ambassador to the Nordic Countries, since 1 November 2018.
In that capacity she is accredited to Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
Prior to that, she served as Uganda’s Ambassador to United Arab Emirates, and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Before that, she was Uganda’s ambassador to France, Spain, Portugal and UNESCO, based in Paris.