‘Noisy’ Elites Exaggerating Uganda’s ‘Economic Crisis’ – Muhakanizi

The Secretary to the Treasury and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance Keith Muhakanizi has dismissed claims that Uganda’s economy is in a crisis saying it is only the real estate sector that has suffered turbulence. According to him, see it is only a few vocal ‘elites’ who have invested in real estate that exaggerate the state of the economy portraying it as worse.

Muhakanizi who was appearing on Capital Radio’s ‘Capital Gang’ talk show on Saturday said; “Given the consistent growth in real sector since the 1980s, recipe many people had a one way bet thinking that real assets would appreciate as always Unfortunately the sector has been hit by the low oil prices in South Sudan, over speculation in the Albertine oil belt and adjustments made by Ministry of Finance in public expenditure.”

“These elites whose investments made no returns are the ones making noise in the media about an economic crisis,” Muhakanizi added.

He was boastful about the strict measures undertaken by the Ministry of Finance to reduce wasteful expenditure by civil servants. “We made a lot of reforms and now it is very difficult for civil servants to get money from the treasury. This money was often times invested in real estate. And we shall continue to tighten access to these funds.”

Muhakanizi was however critical of the continued creation of new districts and the country’s high population growth as major barriers to the realization of middle income status. He says the financial pool to cater for these new administrative units has been strained to the limit.

However Kira Municipality MP Hon. Ibrahim Ssemujju disagreed with Muhakanizi saying much as reforms in public resources have been made, government has not channeled these funds into productive sectors like agriculture and tourism. He also faulted economists like Muhakanizi for focusing on statistical growth rather than household income growth.

“Our economy didn’t start growing last year. There was a time when Uganda was growing by 8% and anticipating a double digit growth. You can’t say this isn’t an economic crisis when some banks are at the verge of collapsing,” Hon. Ssemujju said.

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