Mathias Mpuuga who is the leader of opposition yesterday questioned the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for approving a loan facility to Uganda minus seeking knowledge from the legislators.
Mpuuga’s query was quoted during his discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), country representative of Izabela Karpowicz, and the donor agency’s chief of mission, Amine Mati in a zoom meeting yesterday.
The meeting was held under the auspices of the Parliamentary Forum on the IMF and the World Bank intending to brief the opposition leadership on government supported programs by the lending institutions.
Addressing the meeting via zoom from Washington DC, Mati explained that the $ 1 billion loan facility for Uganda which was approved by the IMF executive board in June under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement to support the post-Covid-19 recovery efforts.
According to Mati, Uganda was picked for the three-year financing package upon realisation that its economy had been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.
This forced Mpuuga to question the manner in which the IMF approved the loan without first seeking parliamentary approval.
“We are surprised that seeking parliamentary approval for the loan wasn’t critical for the IMF,” Mpuuga said.
“Some of these conditions that are subject to the laws of the land should be respected because oversight begins with respect to the laid down procedure.” Mpuuga added.
Mati however said that since the IMF deals directly with the government and the central bank, the donors took it that there was conformity with the laws by the time applied for the loan.
Other MPs also raised questions on how the IMF came up with the figure for the loan and as to whether it cared about Uganda’s high public debt.
These included Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, for MP Kira Municipality; Betty Nambooze, MP Mukono Municipality and Abed Bwanika, MP Kimanya – Kabonera
Budadiri West MP, Nathan Nandala Mafabi who is also a board member of the Parliamentary Forum on the IMF and the World Bank tasked the IMF team to explain whether they took into consideration Uganda’s absorption capacity following different Auditor General’s reports that revealed many unutilised loans.
Early this year, the Auditor General John Muwanga reported that 12 loans valued at 1.3 trillion Shillings expired before disbursement to respective ministries and government entities. This undermined the attainment of planned development targets and rendered commitment charges paid in respect of the undisbursed funds meaningless.