The ambassador, Nimisha Madhvani, and her deputy, Elly Kamahungye, were recorded devising ways to share the money along with other embassy staff members. During the conversation, the group is heard talking about paying themselves “per diems” and discussing how much they should receive in total.
“Instead of calling it Covid, we will do it as an allowance,” Mr. Kamahungye is heard saying.
Uganda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the allegations “grave” and said it would carry out a “thorough investigation” into the matter.
“Any deviation by any officer will be met with appropriate sanctions,” Patrick S. Mugoya, the ministry’s permanent secretary, said in a statement posted on Twitter.
The news from Uganda came days after demonstrations in Kenya by protesters who accused government officials of the theft of hundreds of millions of dollars aimed at fighting the pandemic.
Hundreds of Kenyan doctors in public hospitals have also gone on strike over what they say is shoddy protective gear, delayed salaries and a lack of medical insurance. Thousands more are expected to join them if authorities do not improve their working conditions.
On Monday, a court in the Somali capital Mogadishu also sentenced four officials, some for as many as 18 years, for diverting thousands of dollars of Covid-19 funds.
and almost 1,200 deaths, according to a New York Times database.
Reporting was contributed by Gillian R. Brassil, Alexander Burns, Stephen Castle, Choe Sang-Hun, Abdi Latif Dahir, Sheri Fink, Michael Gold, Javier C. Hernández, Mike Ives, Annie Karni, David Leonhardt, Apoorva Mandavilli, Jonathan Martin, Tiffany May, Claire Cain Miller, Amelia Nierenberg, Adam Pasick, Elian Peltier, Monika Pronczuk, Eliza Shapiro, Eileen Sullivan, Katie Thomas, Katherine J. Wu and Elaine Yu.