Museveni used UK aid money to buy jet – says Lord

By Timothy Nsubuga

13th June 2011:

Museveni: Acused of using poverty cash to buy private jet

Lord Ashcroft, a top House of Lords peer from British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party, has allegedly accused President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of misusing a whopping £30million [approx 117billion shillings] worth of British poverty eradication or development aid money to Uganda to buy himself a Gulf Stream presidential jet.

In its Sunday report, 12th June 2011, The Daily Mail, a British newspaper, said, “…African dictator Museveni bought the top-of-the-range Gulfstream G550 private plane in the same year when his poverty- ravaged country received a £70million aid”.

During the same period, the paper added, Uganda also received around £57million from the UK through the European Union.  “…The autocratic 67-year-old leader received the cash under the Labour government in 2008-09”, the paper said.

The report went on to say that Museveni is currently facing criticism for launching a violent crackdown against protesters demanding an Egyptian-style uprising.  According to the paper, Museveni “…bought the new 562mph plane while millions of civilians struggled to feed themselves”.

The revelation highlights the controversy of hard-pressed British families being asked to fork out higher taxes to pay for spurious aid projects.  The EU has been criticised by auditors for failing to measure the impact of the handouts, with much of the money lining the pockets of corrupt regimes.

The British government has carried out a sweeping review of how aid money is distributed and spent. In future, funding will be targeted on sectors, such as health and education.  Britain’s International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell is also facing a backlash for expressing his desire to make the UK a ‘development superpower’.

British Ministers are increasing aid spending by 34 percent to £12 billion at a time of austerity at home and Prime Minister David Cameron will again defend the policy at an event on Monday.  Last night Lord Ashcroft, the Tory peer who uncovered the use of public money for buying the jet, said it was vital that the review tightens up the rules on how developing nations spent aid money.

“…The UK needs to be very careful before giving budgetary support to avoid extravagance such as this. It is simply a joke.  We must make sure these things do not happen again as they appeared to happen too easily under Labour”, he said.  END.  Please login to every Monday to read our top stories and anytime mid-week for our news updates.

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