President Yoweri Museveni has rejected 11 loans which he says do not add any value to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.
In a letter written to the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, President Museveni noted that Parliament has abandoned the country by contracting many loans which do not add value to the country’s economic development.
Among the 11 loans which the President rejected include $13.77 million for the Islamic University In Uganda (IUIU); $30 million from Korea for agriculture; $100 million from Islamic Development Bank for poverty eradication; $200 million for fiscal transfers and fiscal management and $40 million for gender based violence.
“I reject the $40 million for the vague target of gender based violence. How will you know which women fought with which husband? Let us equip women groups to do maize milling, wine making etc, equipment for value-addition, not seminars. The survivors of violence, if confirmed, can be supported by our own budget,” Museveni said in his letter.
Other loans rejected include $60 million for nutrition, incomes, climate change for Eastern and Central Africa; $60 million for hunger, eradication of poverty, quality of education; $101 million for household incomes, food security and sustainable natural resources; $200 million for the Kampala-Jinja Expressway; $60 million of farming on computers and $50 million for enhancing value chain of agriculture.
Regarding the $60 million of farming on computers, President Museveni said, “This is too much maridadi (fancy). The farmers need good farming practices, fertilisers, irrigation, bush clearing, ploughing and not computers because, even without them, we know how much to produce”.
In his letter read by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, the President proposed that in the future, all loan requests have his endorsement before they are presented in Parliament for approval.
Among the loans the President approved include $14.4 million for navigation on Lake Victoria; $9.54 million for electricity inter-connection; $50 million for refugees; $49/9 million for completion of the new Nile bridge; $125.1 million for electricity transmission; $44 million for transmission for Masaka-Mbarara; another $39 million for electricity for Mbarara-Masaka; $2.9 million for Standard Gauge Railway (SGR)and $45 million for technical education among others loans.
President Museveni said there should never be a loan contracted for administration or for social sciences in education.
“Any loan to be contracted should be for some elements of the infrastructure, for science and technical education, equipment for value addition and funds for soft loans through Uganda Development Bank. Anything else we should reject,” he wrote in the letter, adding, “We should fund education, health and skills development by ourselves because the demands here are continuous.”