Why the panic? Uganda won’t shut down over World Bank sanctions, Maverick Tayebwa tells panicking MPs

Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa (PHOTO/UG Standard)

Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa (PHOTO/UG Standard)

KAMPALA— The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa has urged Members of Parliament to keep calm over the World Bank’s decision to suspend loan funding to Uganda.

Tayebwa who chaired the House on Tuesday afternoon said the country will not shut down because of the recent World Bank position—adding that Uganda is very prepared and strong about a decision made by its Parliament.

“I don’t know why you’re (MPs) panicking as if the country is going to shut down. We made that decision here and when we were making it, we knew it would have repercussions. We are prepared and strong about a decision we made as a House,” the deputy speaker said.

He said that Parliament knew that threats over Uganda’s position on homosexuality would come but said they will be dealt with accordingly.

“We knew threats would come but let us be calm. I saw a communication from the President; he said they are engaging with the World Bank and therefore, there’s no need for panic,” he said asking the Executive to manage foreign relations including discussing with the World Bank.

He asked the Ministry of Finance to give an update to Parliament on if they intend to do anything in line with reviewing the national budget.

“Please, executive, do your work, manage your foreign relations, discuss with the World Bank and should you need us, we shall come in and play our role,” he added.

State Minister for Finance Henry Musasizi said the Ministry communicated to the Speaker’s office that it will have an engagement with the Committees on Finance, Budget, and National Economy.

President Yoweri Museveni last week accused the World Bank of using money to try to coerce his administration government over the country’s anti-homosexuality legislation.

His comments followed an announcement by the World Bank that it was suspending new loans to Kampala.

The World Bank said that Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act “fundamentally contradicts” the institution’s values and that no new public financing would be presented to its board of directors for approval for the time being.

But Museveni, who signed the measures into law in May said that “Ugandans will develop with or without loans”.

“It is therefore unfortunate that the World Bank and other actors dare to want to coerce us into abandoning our faith, culture, principles, and sovereignty, using money,” the veteran leader said.

“We do not need pressure from anybody to know how to solve problems in our society.”

The President however said that his administration was continuing discussions with the World Bank “so that they avoid this diversion if possible”.

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