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Museveni rejects ‘unclear’ loans amounting to UGX 1.4 trillion

President Museveni has faulted the Finance Ministry’s lack of seriousness and failure to use clear language in seeking for loans. FILE PHOTO

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Museveni has rejected a loan of 1.4 trillion shillings ($400m) accusing the Ministry of Finance of lack of seriousness. This is part of the 3.5 trillion Shillings request that the Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija sought in January.

Of this, 596 billion Shillings was to support irrigation and drainage infrastructure in Kabuyanda and Matanda, 447 billion Shillings was for the construction of roads and bridges for refugee-hosting districts and 427 billion Shillings for additional financing for competitiveness and enterprise development projects.

The other component included 559 billion Shillings for the forest and resilience landscape project, 559 billion Shillings for the secondary schools expansion projects and 932 billion Shillings for additional financing for intergovernmental fiscal transfers.

However, in a letter dated April 4, 2020, the president rejected the loan on the forest and resilience landscape project and the additional financing for intergovernmental fiscal transfers. He said he has a problem with the Ministry’s lack of seriousness and failure to use clear language in seeking for the loan.

The President says that he only approved four out of the six loans. The approved applications include Irrigation and drainage, roads and bridges, funding for the competitiveness and enterprise development project and the Secondary school’s expansion projects. He says he could not understand the two other loans.

“I cannot understand No.3 (559 billion for the forest and resilience landscape project) unless it focuses on building an electric fence on the boundaries of the National parks. I will not approve unless it concentrates on that,” Museveni says in the letter.

On the second loan of 932 billion for additional financing for intergovernmental fiscal transfers, the President wonders if the Ministry needs to increase the indebtedness of the country just to buy computers to trace the money moving from one ministry to another.

“Intergovernmental fiscal transfers, what is that? If that money is there, let us then use it to handle the issue of institutional houses for teachers in government schools and health workers in government hospitals,” Museveni says.

But according to the Finance Ministry, the loan of 932 billion for additional financing for intergovernmental fiscal transfers will focus on health and education, agriculture and water with the aim of increasing productivity and this will improve household income.

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