$538,200 meant for Ugandan students in China sent to Chinese embassy in error
London, March 12, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Ugandan Ministry of Finance has asked the Ugandan Embassy in China to return $538,200 (Shs2 billion) that was reportedly sent in error as part of the relief money for Ugandan students stranded in Wuhan, China, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak.
The Ugandan cabinet had approved $61,800 to be sent to China for students in Wuhan, where the deadly coronavirus started, although the education ministry requested $600,000 – a much higher amount.
But the ministry mistakenly sent $600,000 to the embassy.
It has, hence, requested the embassy to refund the $538,200 excess.
Ministry of Finance has asked the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Sports to clarify on the above discrepancy.
According to the government, Uganda has about 105 students in Wuhan city Universities. 65 are known government-sponsored students while 40 are on private sponsorship.
CGTN Africa reports that Mr. Jim Mugunga, the Privatization Unit, and Ministry of Finance senior public relations officer said they have been in touch with the Embassy in Beijing and it has commenced processes of returning the funds.
Meanwhile Uganda has discouraged arrival into the country from 16 countries across the world due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The East African country ordered all passengers arriving from the COVID-19 hit countries to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the East African country.
In a statement on Wednesday, Uganda’s Health Ministry urged against non-essential travel into the country by people from 16 countries around the world.
The 16 countries pooled into one Category 1 group include; Italy, San Marino, Iran, South Korea, France, China, Germany, Spain, Belgium, U.S., U.K, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Austria and Malaysia.
“Any traveller from these countries, including Ugandan nationals will be subjected to self-quarantine or institutional (health facility) quarantine at their own cost,” the statement read in part.
The ministry said the countries affected by the travel advisory would be removed from the list upon reports of zero new cases for 14 days.
It added that it was considering spraying all travellers who arrive in the country as they disembark with a disinfectant.
Uganda has not reported any case of COVID-19, though like other countries across Africa, it has heightened its preparedness to tackle the virus.
11 countries around Africa have reported confirmed cases of the virus, including Egypt, Algeria, Senegal, South Africa, Morocco, Cameroon, Tunisia, Togo, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and the Democratic Republic of Congo.