Ugandan diplomats at the country’s embassy in Denmark have been caught red-handed planning to share unspent money amongst themselves.
In the recording obtained by ChimpReports, Amb Nimisha Madhvani, her deputy, Elly Kamahungye Kafeero and other staff members can be heard sharing ideas on sharing money which was earmarked for COVID-19 preparations.
“Instead of calling (accounting) it (money) COVID-19, we will do it as allowance,” proposes Kamahungye.
A staff at the embassy asks how much should be distributed among the diplomats.
Kamahungye then proposes “eight days.”
Nimisha then asks, “8 days – that’s for each, uh?”
Kamahungye responds: “Give yourselves 4,000 (dollars) each. They have done it.”
He was referring to the accounting process that was already underway to give $4,000 to each of the top four staff at the embassy.
In the background, the diplomats can be heard laughing loudly as they plan to enjoy the loot.
RECORDING: Ambassadors Nimisha Madhvani, Kamahungye Plan COVID-19 Cash Theft on Zoom
ChimpReports understands the diplomats were holding a virtual meeting on Zoom.
This is not the first time Nimisha is being cited in controversies
In 2018, Nimisha was recalled from United Arab Emirates (UAE), following protests by the Arab state over claims that Ugandan girls were being sold in slave markets in the country.
The recording has since unsettled the Foreign Affairs Ministry, with some officials calling for serious punitive action against the diplomats.
“Someone needs to stop this impunity. It is totally unacceptable to allow these officials to stay on duty amid this embarrassing conduct,” said a senior diplomat who preferred anonymity to speak freely.
Contacted for comment, Foreign Affairs Ministry Permanent Secretary Amb Patrick Mugoya describing the recording as “disturbing.’
He said the recording would be reviewed to establish its authenticity before asking the Ugandan embassy in Denmark for an official response.
“We will look at what has been submitted by the Mission. We will then look at the audit report. We don’t want to preempt what will come out. These are details we have to find out and take it from there,” said Mugoya.
Asked if any punitive action will be taken if the diplomats are found culpable, Mugoya responded: “There are departments responsible for looking at issues of accountability so.”
He said the findings will determine the nature of action to be meted out against the diplomats.
It remains unclear who recorded the conversation. However, it could have been one of the staff members. One of the female diplomats is heard complaining that in the fishy deal, “some are earning more than us.”
Kamahungye responds: “You are the ones who put it.”
Shockingly, Nimisha is heard telling Kamahungye that “if there are any residual balances” the money, he should “find a way to utilise it.”
She also proposes that in sharing the money, some junior staff and security agents attached to the embassy should be kept out of the loop.
Kamahungye says staff on the video call should be involved in the deal “so that no one can jump out.”
He also predicts that “we will have jumbled accounts”, adding, “We need to prepare for auditors.”
The development calls for an in-depth investigation into the possible mismanagement of COVID-19 funds wired to Embassies across the world to help Ugandans stuck overseas.
Born in Uganda in 1959 to Meena Madhvani and Jayant Madhvani, both Ugandan citizens of Indian descent, Nimisha previously served as Uganda’s ambassador to the UAE, France, Spain, Portugal and UNESCO.