- Published on Friday, 29 June 2012 11:35
- Written by Nkwasibwe Geofrey
- Category: news
- Hits: 556
The UK government on Monday confirmed that Uganda will lose billions of pounds in budget support over the next four years until commitment has been shown towards the fight against corruption and human rights abuses.
A spokesperson said the Coalition government had taken a tough stance on budget support to Uganda, to enable authorities in London “follow the money” and track where British taxpayers’ money is spent. Information from the UK Foreign Office shows Uganda will lose £34 million (about Shs131b) between 2011-2015.
The news comes after Saturday Monitor reported last week that the World Bank and other donors had cut budget support to Uganda over financial indiscipline.
The British government in November 2010 cut over £7.5 million in direct aid to Uganda, citing slow progress in punishing ministers and other public officials accused of misappropriating Chogm funds.
One of the major threats to good governance in Uganda has always been corruption. The World Bank estimates that Uganda loses about Shs500 billion annually through procurement malpractices.
A 2010 World Bank Report ranked Uganda among the most corrupt states. It is said corruption has aggravated poverty among Ugandans, hampered service delivery and is rife in many public sectors.
In October 2011, British Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to slash aid to African countries with poor records on homosexual rights.
However, it is not clear whether withdrawing part of the budget support has something to do with Uganda’s hard stance towards homosexuality.
On February 14, Uganda’s Ethics Minister Simon Lokodo ordered the closure of a two-week workshop organised by a pro-gay organisation. The minister said the meeting was illegal. Under the Penal Code Act, homosexuality is illegal in Uganda.
A UK government spokesperson said: “The UK Government is at the forefront of work to promote human rights around the world, and regularly lobbies governments which violate those rights.
“We only provide aid to governments when we are satisfied that they share our commitments to reduce poverty; respect human rights; improve financial management; fight corruption; and promote good governance and transparency.
“In Uganda, we have already cut direct aid to the government by 30 per cent and redirected budget support onto specific projects aimed at improving health.”
Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka recently presented the 2012/2013 Budget indicating that the government will fund 75 per cent, while 25 per cent funding is expected from the donors.
Experts have warned that the decision to cut general budget support will hit the country’s poor hard in the present hard economic times.
Source: Daily Monitor