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Museveni Fingers Foreign Nations for Uganda's Inflation

FILE: Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni in a Reuters interview held in the Gomba district's Kisozi settlement, January 16, 2022

Recently, Ugandans have been forced to spend twice as much to afford necessities like fuel and food. In a recent address, Uganda President Yoweri Museveni asserted that Europeans have caused what he called an artificial problem leading to higher costs. From Kampala, Halima Athumani reports for VOA.

President Yoweri Museveni has told Ugandans that their nation's soaring prices for fuel, food, and other goods are the fault of what he calls the “mistake makers” - Europe, the United States and Russia.
Citing the Russian assault on Ukraine, Museveni stated “The Russians have blockaded the Ukrainian ports," adding I hear within the ports there are 25 million tons of wheat, the petroleum, and even the fertilizers. Remember, the fertilizers are also a problem because they are produced by Russia.
Museveni told Ugandans to buy foreign goods sparingly, increase local production with local materials, and stop depending on what he termed "rainfall agriculture," which depends on the skies, not man-made irrigation, for watering crops.
As for high fuel prices, Museveni said Ugandans will need to be patient until the nation starts its own oil production in 2025.
Some Ugangans respond to the president's blame and suggestions for dealing with the situation at-hand with a call to cut taxes, saying Kampala is the real cause of the problem.
Agriculturalist Ziana Aigaru asserts "For example, Bukoola (a local agricultural produce manufacturer) is hiking the prices because of the tax that he incurs in importing the chemicals. So, if the taxes are reduced, that means the cost price will reduce.”
Museveni argues that cutting taxes on commodities will only cripple the economy.
Aigaru responds by saying businesses will do better if they can sell for less.
Additionally, economist Madina Guloba said that along with addressing taxation, the president needs to bring government expenditures more in line with its revenue in order to bring downward pressure on inflation.
If those factors are not addressed, he said, "Then definitely commodity prices will also still stay high even if global patterns improve. You know, we need to think also (about) jobs. The moment you do all these things, the jobs are going to be lost. So, who are you going to tax in this time?”