Parliament Approves Shs5.2 Trillion in Loans, Fueling Concerns of a Deepening Debt Crisis

KAMPALA, (UG)-Parliament on Wednesday 6th of December,2023 approved three loans amounting to over Shs5.2 trillion including; Shs3.5 trillion from local commercial banks to fund the supplementary budget, Shs1.227 trillion from World Bank for smart agriculture and Shs554.689 billion from China to finance the e-government infrastructure project phase.

The latest loan requests push the country’s debt further, which by the end of August 2023 stood at over Shs88.8 trillion, further plunging the country into a debt crisis.The majority of NRM legislators led by the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, brushed aside resistance put up by the opposition MPs and allowed the entire amount to be passed.

However, the opposition members put up a fight when it came to the request to borrow Shs3.5 trillion to finance the supplementary budget, arguing that some of the money the government was planning to borrow was already available and saw no reason for borrowing.Muwanga Kivumbi, the Shadow Minister of Finance, accused the government of spending in anticipation, which he said is a financial indiscipline and would lead to disaster if not checked.

The minority report said this gives leeway to the government to spend the taxpayers’ money with impunity and commit the country to further debt distress. They particularly took issue with the statehouse that over the years has been the biggest beneficiary of the supplementary budget. Meanwhile;