Stealing the moment and receiving a fair share of public bashing and criticism is Dr. Louis Kasekende, the embattled deputy governor of the bank of Uganda.
Kasekende has been vilified and chided for giving fake news. This was at the dinner for the 20th anniversary of the struggling Uganda Securities Exchange last Friday.
Kasekende took the would be precious time painting a rosy picture of the rather limping economy, giving contradicting GDP figures of 6.9% as opposed to Emmanuel Mutebile’s 6.3%, telling blatant lies on the giveaway(disguised as selling) of crane bank among others.
The most realistic thing is for Kasekende to note and appreciate is that, a rosy economy should reflect in the daily livelihoods of the citizenry for which the economy serves.
A growing economy should perhaps mean creation of more employment opportunities, reduction in the unemployment rates, poverty rates/increase in the welfare and the incomes of an individual.
Additionally, improved access to services such as well-equipped hospitals/health care, public schools, and transport systems can be indicators of a growing economy.
Kasekende was making these comments at a time when over 8 million Ugandans are in despicable poverty (UBOS) and about 60% of Ugandans live in perpetual vulnerability as per the Uganda poverty status report.
We have recently witnessed the incessant strikes characterized by agitation for salary increment of teachers, prosecutors, nurses etc.
Kasekende so much emphasized that the economy recovered in the last half of 2017 and this is when the Uganda Medical Association brought the country to a standstill and the prosecutors led to stalling of court business, and at times courts didn’t operate.
Staff from Public Universities in the same half, frowned over delayed but earlier promised salary increment.
As Kasekende continues to be berated over misleading the country with a beautiful economic outlook, the Bank of India is reported to be pulling out of the Ugandan market (Read the finance and trade paper, April Issue).
In the same paper, BOU is reported to have advised undercapitalized banks to merge. This is an admission that something is not well with the economy.
When someone at the center of all economic data goes around giving misleading speeches, the consumers of such information are left at a greater peril of being misled too!
But to avoid the uncoordinated information from government officials like Kasekende, Kisamba Mugerwa can offer him more lectures.
Mugerwa seems to have more realistic appreciation of the economy that we are in.
As opposed to Kasekende, Mugerwa appreciates that it is because of the struggling economy that we will not attain the much coveted middle income status by 2020.
In a March 27 letter to Finance Minister Matia Kasaija and other government officials, Dr Kisamba indicated gloom on the economy and diminished the hope of Uganda achieving the lower middle-income status as had been envisioned under the National Development Plan II. Dr Kisamba indicated that his verdict was based on account of an unstable or weakening economy which has registered ‘unacceptable’ growth in the last three financial years.
Kagenyi Lukka is a current affairs analyst and an aspiring MP, Ikiiki constituency.