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Most Museveni Ministers Have Over USD 90 million In Assets Hidden Abroad

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President Yoweri Museveni has been informed of allegations that many of his ministers are hiding valuable assets, including large sums of money, in Europe and the United States. This revelation comes amid concerns about political uncertainty in Uganda, prompting the country’s political and business elite to seek property in affluent suburbs of western capitals.

A senior official briefed about the matter stated, “It is an emerging serious issue for the President because you have many ministers really obsessed with property in the U.S. or Europe as one way of securing their future.” The official emphasized that these individuals, having their children attending school in western countries, seek to enable them to find a future there in terms of work and citizenship, due to a perceived lack of political stability in Uganda.

Research indicates that Uganda’s democracy faces significant threats due to President Museveni’s prolonged hold on power, which has lasted for more than three decades. Since his electoral victory in January 2021, Museveni has continued to consolidate his authority.

The President’s interest in investigating these matters has been piqued by recent reports regarding Speaker Anita Among’s alleged property purchases in the UK. Among has denied owning property in the UK and has urged the UK to respect other countries’ values and cultures.

Uganda’s political elite prefer to buy properties in secure countries such as the UK, United States, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Canada, and Malaysia, with many ministers favoring Canada due to its liberal immigration policies and excellent education system.

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However, officials fear that this trend is fueling corruption in public service, with government officials desperate to accumulate wealth to sustain their families abroad. Uganda has long struggled with corruption, ranking 142nd out of 180 countries in the 2022 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index.

A report published by the World Bank in 2020 revealed that Ugandan officials could have stashed away a staggering USD 73 million (Shs 267 billion) of aid money from the World Bank between 1990 and 2009. The funds were reportedly hidden in countries praised as havens, including Switzerland, Luxembourg, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Researchers found that money hidden in these countries by Ugandans grew by 2.4% per quarter when the World Bank released funds for Uganda, surpassing the country’s economic growth rate.

The investigation into these allegations marks a crucial step in addressing corruption and promoting transparency within Uganda’s government institutions.

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