Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has accused President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni of mortgaging Uganda.
Through its spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the FDC says that the FY2022-23 budget passed by Parliament on May 20 offers clues into how government is already ‘mortgaging’ the country.
FDC observes that government did not offer solutions to the rising commodity prices and cost of living but rather recklessly borrowed to finance luxurious expenditure, committing tax payers to loans, and huge interests. Ssemujju, who is also the Kira Municipality MP, also delved into the figures, clearly showing how the country could be in a financial crisis, and to prove how it looks like Museveni is mortgaging Uganda.
“The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) would like to invite citizens to critically examine the budget. The Budget does not offer immediate solutions to the rising cost of living in the country. Taxes on essential goods such as fuel and raw materials were maintained. It announced no subsidy on critical items such soap, paraffin, cooking oil and fuel. This means, fuel prices will continue going up until the Almighty Allah brings them down,” he noted.
“Of importance to note, is the reckless borrowing by Mr. Museveni to finance his government’s luxurious spending. Of the Shs 48 trillion budget, Shs 16.3 trillion has been reserved for debt repayment. The Shs 16.3 debt repayment amount includes over Shs 5 trillion which is interest on money borrowed. Please note that next financial year, we will pay interest on money borrowed from local banks to about Shs 5 trillion. Interest on treasury bonds per year is now Shs 4.1 trillion and on treasury bills is Shs 583 billion. Interest on money borrowed from outside the country is Shs 871 billion. The principal loan repayment on money borrowed outside is Shs 2.4 trillion. We are also required to pay Shs 137 billion commitment fees on money borrowed but delayed to use.”
FDC has also raised a red flag over the rising national debt, which is way bigger than the Shs48.1 trillion national budget for the next financial year starting July 2022.
“Mr. Museveni owes the country an explanation. Because as all this is taking place, our total debt as a country has reached Shs 73.5 trillion. Of this Shs 45.7 trillion is external debt and Shs 27.8 trillion is domestic debt. And this this debt of Shs 73.5 trillion doesn’t include arrears which today stands at Shs 4.1 trillion. Arrears means money owed to people who have supplied government,” explained Sssemujju.
“It also doesn’t include guarantees to private people who have borrowed. Please understand that there are private companies that have been guaranteed. Museveni has committed the country to pay incase these private companies default. This is what they call contingency liability which today stand at Shs 160 trillion. We are a country in crisis.”
FDC’s and Ssemujju’s claims that Museveni’s government is ‘mortgaging Uganda,’ come a few months after reports alleging that government had ‘surrendered’ Entebbe International Airport to secure a loan from China Exim Bank. Air transport regulator Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) even confirmed that China Exim Bank was monitoring its bank accounts. (Read Story Here).