The people you sat with don’t represent us! Ugandans protest big IMF UGX 3.5 trillion loan to Uganda

Uganda’s oldest and longest serving President, Yoweri Museveni (PHOTO/File).

KAMPALA — Ugandans are petitioning the International Monetary Fund to cancel its approval of a UGX 3.5 trillion loan for Uganda, citing mismanagement of funds by the government and the country’s increasing debt load.

This was after the IMF staff reached an agreement with the Ugandan authorities on a medium-term program that could be supported by IMF resources of about US$1 billion (UGX. 3.5 trillion) under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF).

But in the latest round of online activism in the country, Ugandans are protesting this move.

Using the hashtags #StopLoaningUganda and #UgandaIsBleeding, they’re asking the financial institution to cancel the financing arrangement, highlighting citizens’ growing frustration with debt burden and corruption in the country.

The complaints spread to official IMF Twitter page, with Ugandans flooding the comments section.

“The people you sat with don’t represent us,” one of the protestors wrote.

“IMF, please, leave us alone we have enough debts to clear” another one wrote.

“The money is gonna be stolen by the first family individually…..not to the citizens…….no services will be put in place…unless killing and abducting innocent civilians”.

“IMF funds are debt traps. I dont know why African countries still apply for this imperial money. No single country was ever developed using IMF money. We have the resources in Africa. Lets use them to develop our countries”

“We don’t need your funding, we have looters as leaders, that’s a burden to the Ugandan community who are having a bigger debt than the per capita income of every household in a year” another user wrote.

“Am Ugandan from Kampala but I don’t agree with IMF to finance Uganda caz that money is used by minority government officials yet Ugandans we are the one to pay back ,am requesting IMF” a one Mugalula Derrick wrote.

“How will we explain to our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren, that Uganda was run down with debt, debts that have and will not help ordinary people but only benefit a few? #StopLoaningM7” a one Jojo claimed.

“It’s up to you and how you will get that money back. The people of Uganda will never pay for it. You gave it to Museveni as a person not Uganda. When he dies, he dies with your money”

“IMF is glad to have reached an agreement with Uganda leaders to further enslave Uganda voters with this new debt.
The reason why Africans prefer China is because China debt leaves tangible assets on the ground. Dams, airports, roads etc IMF debt is just a scam” another user said.

Ugandans have also taken the protests to the IMF’s other platforms posting negative comments.

IMF in a statement said a staff-level agreement is subject to IMF management approval and Executive Board consideration, which is expected in the coming weeks.

Outside social media, others have launched a petition on to the IMF to cancel the loan.

“Right now Ugandans are choking under the burden of heavy taxes, with the prices of basic commodities such as fuel skyrocketing, and nothing to show for the previous loans,” the petition says.

In a statement on its website, the IMF acknowledges that the country is at a high risk of debt distress, and addresses the arrangement’s accountability measures.

“Strengthening governance and budget transparency will be key to fostering public sector efficiency while preparing the ground for sound management of oil revenues” the IMF said, adding that “managing public investment appropriately, reducing domestic arrears, and strengthening cash management are all critical priorities for improving the business climate and attracting private investment”.

IMF added that Uganda’s commitment to strengthen anti-corruption efforts was encouraged during the discussions.

IMF team met with the former Minister of Finance, Mr. Kasaija, acting Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury, Mr. Ocailap; Governor of the Bank of Uganda (BoU), Mr. Mutebile; Deputy Governor of the BoU, Mr. Atingi-Ego; and other BoU and senior government officials.

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