Uganda`s Finance Ministry, on March 12th, 2020, asked the Ugandan embassy in China to return money sent mistakenly to their account. The Ministry asked for a refund after a discovery that the money sent to the embassy was ten times more than the intended amount.
Embassy in China closed
The Ugandan government sent funds to the Ugandan Embassy in China to assist Ugandan students in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. China locked down the Wuhan City in efforts to try and control the spreading of the deadly coronavirus on 23rd January 2020. Numerous countries evacuated their citizens from Wuhan after the virus outbreak began there.
Numerous African Students Studying in China
Estimations reveal that about 4000 African students were studying in Wuhan China. The high number of students studying in Wuhan resulted from China`s relentless efforts to expand its influence on the youthful African Continent. Because of the high number of African scholars in Wuhan, numerous African countries left behind thousands of students during the evacuation efforts. Numerous students left behind tried to plead with their governments to evacuate them; however, several governments stated its safer to stay in place.
Evacuation Efforts Stopped
Most African governments stated that bringing the remaining students home form Wuhan is risky. Additionally, they said that quarantining hundreds of individuals could be a significant challenge with their weak health systems.
This decision left numerous African students stuck in empty campuses in Wuhan worried about running out of food, sanitary towels, detergents, and even money to buy these things. About 70 Ugandan students remained stranded in Wuhan China after evacuation efforts stopped.
Sending of Emergency Funds Through the Embassy in China
The Ugandan government, amongst other African governments, decided to send thousands of dollars to citizens to help them survive. Botswana`s government, for instance, provided an additional allowance of $144 to each of its students in Wuhan. Moreover, the Botswana government negotiated with a local company in Wuhan. The company would provide water, food, and even facemasks to its stranded citizens in Wuhan.
Meanwhile, in Uganda, the Ugandan Cabinet approved ($61,800) to be sent as emergency funds to be handed out to its students in Wuhan. The Ugandan Finance Ministry, however, discovered that a higher money transfer occurred.
Refund of Money Mistakenly Sent
A sum of $600,00 had been sent to the embassy. This amount mistakenly sent was ten times more than the intended amount. An official from the Ministry, however, was quoted stating that the Ugandan Cabinet had approved the money sent to China.
The Ugandan Ministry of finance, however, disagreed with the claims of the official. The Ministry addressed a letter to the Ugandan embassy in China. The letter said the amount approved by the cabinet was a lower amount of $61,800.
The Ministry, moreover, asked in its letter to the Ugandan embassy in China that the embassy make a refund. The Ugandan Ministry needed a sum of $538,200 refunded.
No Money Received
Most parents of Ugandan students stranded in Wuhan communicate with their children by video chat or phone calls. The parents of these children reveal that their loved ones increasingly worried about their lives because of the numerous deaths caused by the virus and its fast spreading. Additionally, they state that their children have not received the money the Ugandan cabinet approved for their assistance.