World Bank Withholds Funding To Uganda Due To Persistent Corruption and Kickbacks by Government Officials

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni
President Yoweri Museveni

The Investigator News has learned of the communication from the World Bank about Uganda in line with withholding lending money to the government. The statement asserts new lending ways for Uganda which seems to cement the already strained relationship between the government and the lending institution.

Mr. Steven Shalita, who is the senior Communications manager for the Africa External Communications and Partnership (AFREC) unit, in the Africa Region explains in a press release, that “The World Bank Group took a decision to withhold new lending to Uganda effective August 22, 2016 while reviewing the country’s portfolio in consultation with the Government of Uganda.”

Shalita also continued to assert that the World Bank will continue to actively work with the Ugandan authorities to address the outstanding performance issues in the portfolio, including delays in project effectiveness, weaknesses in safeguards monitoring and enforcement, and low disbursement.

The strong point in Shalita’s communication or press release is the case of retaliating the Bank’s commitment to projects in the country.  “We reiterate our commitment to doing everything possible to work closely with the Government of Uganda, as well as with other stakeholders, to support the country’s development and ensure that all World Bank-supported projects deliver tangible and long-lasting results to all Ugandans, especially the poor and vulnerable,” notes the press release.

With no heist, Uganda’s performance on the loans accessed from the World Bank has had issues since 2010 and 2012. This was still blamed on, graft and corruption, delays in project effectiveness and other issues. The new issue is now kick-backs asked by the many ministry officials on the monies they have to pay. The World Bank statement comes at the backdrop of events which have embroiled the Ugandan government over the expenditure of the resources or money received from the World Bank.

Recently, the president of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni wondered how come the UGX 330 billion shillings received from the World Bank was not spent on building schools in Uganda. He blamed it on the ‘love for kick backs’ from the ministry of Education and Sports officials even though he was yet to take decision over their actions. It was easier for him to blame them but no measures put in place to solve the increasing problem which is eating away many ministries.

The UGX 330 billion shillings were to be used to build new schools but obviously nothing was done therefore, the World Bank had to receive back the money. It’s an absurd situation that many schools are not built, many need renovation, students and pupils study in trees while scholastic materials like text books are also lacking.

For a long time, the government has been embroiled in the game of politics as the many institutions keep on decaying. We may at one day fail to reach the minimal requirements of getting a World Bank loan or even China.

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