KAMPALA — President Yoweri Museveni has reportedly ordered a closer intelligence review of statistical figures being published by Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) after a public spat with World Bank over Middle Income Status.
A top security source told UG Standard on the Weekend that the President tasked the
intelligence community with preparing “a report on their most up-to-date analysis of UBOS figures,” including whether statics are being fabricated by UBOS officials.
The President issued this new directive on Saturday to security officials figures being published by UBOS come under increased scrutiny.
For example, last month, the Inspectorate of Government ordered more than two dozen staff of Ubos to refund nearly Shs800m the officials claimed to have spent on field work during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Ms Beti Kamya, the inspector general of government (IGG), in letters dated May 24, 2022 and addressed to each of the affected employees, noted that investigations by her office from late last year revealed that accountabilities submitted for the expenditures were falsified.
The reported indicated that officials also released fabricated national data without going to the field.
President Museveni had assigned Col Charles Oluka to gather intelligence on the alleged ongoing data fabrication at UBOS.
The President’s reaction was triggered by a World Bank protest of UBOS figures that showed Uganda had entered middle income status.
Speaking to reporters last week, Dr Chris N. Mukiza, the UBOS Executive Director said government data for the 2021/22 financial year indicates that gross domestic product per capita is estimated at $1,046, which is within the middle income threshold.
On July 1, he said, the World Bank had released its economic update indicating that Uganda’s gross national income per capita for the 2020/21 financial was $840, which meant that the country had not crossed into the threshold for middle income status.
In an article published by the Independent on Saturday, Godber Tumushabe, a policy analyst and Associate Director of the Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies (GLISS), a Kampala-based policy think tank weighed in on the matter— reasoning that leaders of underdeveloped countries like Uganda with governments that have got little to offer to their citizens, “being categorized as ‘middle income’ gives the governments a bit of political mileage.”
He said, however, getting into this category also comes with benefits especially when it comes to accessing international credit.
“It means you can borrow more because the international lending institutions have more confidence in your economy,” he said.