Friday 12th of February 2016 07:40:09 AM

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Opposition to go on hunger strike

Opposition leaders who were arrested and charged for taking part in the walk to work demonstration have announced they are planning to camp at Parliament and refuse to eat anything for as long as it takes as they protest against escalating prices.

Mukono North MP Betty Nambooze told journalists today that the leaders have decided not to eat anything as they go about their duties at Parliament. She said that there was no point for them (leaders) to eat when the public can hardly afford food.

Nambooze also announced that they were ready to reject budgets of institutions like the Police which have consistently harassed them to show them that “you cannot bite a hand that feeds you.” She also disclosed that they have chosen five members amongst themselves to visit Bank of Uganda to find out the status of the country’s reserves.

The chosen include; Kampala Mayor Elias Lukwago, Bugwere South MP Abdu Katuntu, Public Accounts Committee Chairman Nandala Mafabi, Aruu county MP Odonga Otto and Nambooze herself.

Nambooze said that it was possible that the government could have over drained the reserves because of its extravagant expenditure. Uganda Bureau of statistics last month put inflation at 11.1%.

UBOS indicated that the dollar hitting a Shs. 2,400 record high was part of the problem. The dollar is still high at Shs. 2, 350.  But the increase in inflation was mainly due to food prices as food inflation alone hit a 29 % high between February and March.

The UBOS report attributed this to reduced supplies due to the prolonged dry season in most parts of the country. However, the depreciation of the shilling against the dollar remains one of the major causes of the escalating prices.

Makerere University Economic Policy Research Centre’s Lawrence Bategeka, mentions a number of factors that have caused high inflation. However, he also blames the Government for heavily borrowing “from the Central Bank and compromising the Bank of Uganda’s ability to mitigate the shilling’s slide,” he told New Vision.

Uganda’s reserves are reported to have fallen to just under $2.0b, from about $2.8b five months ago, in contravention of our targets with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), according to Bategeka.

The target is for Uganda’s reserves to remain at about four times our average monthly imports of $700m. The Government recently announced that it drew down on reserves to buy jet fighters and other military hardware which the opposition has criticized heavily.

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8 Responses to Opposition to go on hunger strike

  1. Rugaba Agaba says:

    Besigye and Mao need to tell us what they would do if they inherited today’s economy with inflation, run away food and fuel prices and poor shilling performance. Not walk-to-work! It is naive to think that this is an innocent walk-to -work issue, this is a politcial fight. This is their Luweero. Make no mistake about it.

  2. josh says:

    that is foolish thinking By people like you Rugaba Agaba. r u not aware of people dying of hunger in Uganda yet the government is spending lavishly on a swearing in ceremony of a leader who rigged votes??. imagine the cancer institute is lacking all that is required.,prices of the necessities are sky rocketing…u r busy dancing on graveyards of people who have died of hunger and poor treatment. u moron!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Jane says:

    Hunger strike! Really? Is this the best the opposition mps can come up with? Their constituents are feeling the ‘pinch’ in their pockets and need practical solutions, not the people they’ve just voted for frizzling away of hunger and thirst at the gates of parliament. Please listen to economists like Bategeka and formulate practcal polices around these ideas. By the way out of curiousity, how may of these mps have returned the 20 million shilling bribe that were paid to them by the NRM that has no doubt contibuted to the depletion of our national reserves. I as a taxpayer is still seething about this. Oh politicians, you cant live with them and cant live without them! This is really exausting. 

  4. Tim. Mathew says:

    So you do admit that  20million of hard earned tax payers money was fritted away by the NRM? the same govt you seem to be supporting, so which is which? are the culprits the Opp MPs or the NRM who gave it away in the first place. If MPs want to keep the money, it is neither here nor there, the shame and responsibility is on the one who had the audacity to give the money in the first place!

    Yes, indeed Mr RUG AGA what ever your name is, it is a political fight, because people like you have taken everything from Ugandans and left them with no option but to use such means!!. The state of the country today is of the NRM’s making, a government functioning without any system what so ever! The worst government then the ones they use to criticise. A government bent on THEFT and GREED of the highest order!!!

  5. Rugaba Agaba says:

    Comrades Josh and Tim Mathew, i believe we can have a constructive debate or discussion or even disagreement by being civil and calm in our arguements. Because i have a divergent view, it doesnt make me a moron or part of them for that matter. I dont think it is a case of if you are not with us, then you are against us!!. That said, i think the government has messed us up, but we need the opposition leaders to break it down, so that it is understood by both the uptown elites like yourselves and upcountry/rural masses. My thinking is that when the govt introduced new currency notes, and didnt put in place a plan to remove the old notes from the market, it meant we had a lot or excess money in the market which could have triggered the inflation. Then, the NRM broke into the BOU reserves to bankroll its campaign, this also increased on liquid cash flow in the market, but also the elites on museveni’s team could have used their share of this campaign money, changed it to dollars and hoarded it on their dollar accounts. Probably that is why we had unrelenting demand for the dollar both by banks, firms and individuals that were getting lots of shillings from campaigns and the market.

    I appreciate ur point Tim, ofcourse needless to say the regime has issues, but the opposition dont help us that much when they dont offer proposals on solutions. I expect the shadow ministe for finance to give a press statement outlining what they expect governement to do, and we see who is making sense. Kabakumba & Co say they cant do much, what does the opposition say?

    Thank you, and i forgive you for he unfortunate words you used.

  6. Tim Mathew says:

    Mr Agaba, sorry if my words caused offence , did not mean to. However, anything that the opposition comes up with at  this stage would be seen as a threat by the government or its cohorts, whether its given in good faith or not. And who would implement any alternative policy any way seeing that even their own policies that they have proposed themselves, year after year have never been implemented!  The best thing is to throw the whole system out and start afresh. Nothing short of that, will do.

    The NRM system is rotten from top to bottom as you have proved in your article. We need a new leader who would give a new direction to our children. Otherwise our future is very bleak! the very fibre of our society is wilting away. Things that in the past we took for granted are no longer there. Just think about it. We are all  on the same side except for a few.

  7. MUGISHA says:

    i knew it that when the govt of mafias withdrew 602 billion as supplementary budget. we told you guys to vote out these mafias but instead you gave them another you are benefiting from that rap. how on earth can inflation raise to 11% insuch a short time . thats why sane govt have institutions that decide matters of the state not a one man dictator who thinks he is more intelligent than the 33 million Ugandans combined. face the reality inflation was excebated by the so called visionary leader during the election bribery

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