Ugandan newspaper welcomes looming foreign aid cuts

The editor of Uganda’s largest independent newspaper says most foreign aid is just absorbed by corrupt officials and has only lead to greater corruption and government unaccountability in Uganda

Ugandan newspaper welcomes looming foreign aid cuts
08 December 2012

Uganda’s largest independent newspaper has welcomed looming foreign aid cuts to the country over its persecution of LGBT people, arguing that aid has only fuelled corruption and non-accountability in the Ugandan Government.

In a December 6 editorial entitled ‘Here is why the donor aid cuts are the best thing to happen to Uganda,’ Daily Monitor managing editor Daniel Kalinaki wrote that foreign aid rarely reached the people it was intended for in Uganda because it was absorbed by corrupt officials.

‘Money meant to help poor people clear their land, build houses and rebuild their lives after two decades of war was spent on luxury cars, apartment blocks and foreign travels by thieving or undeserving officials.’ Kalinaki wrote.

‘Where the money does trickle past the parched, greedy mouths of politicians and civil servants, a lot of it often goes to pay for useless workshops, buy 4WD cars and pay for fancy mansions and gym memberships for local and expatriate staff.’

Kalinaki wrote that being able to source a quarter of its budget from overseas meant that the Government could ignore the concerns of Ugandans.

‘Foreign aid undermines the emergence of domestic demand for accountability. As long as the government can receive billions each year from London, Washington or Berlin, the local taxpayers can go hang themselves on tomato trees,’ Kalinaki wrote.

‘If Uganda were really a poor country would … our ministers and technocrats drive luxury 4WD cars whose list price is enough to power a small village?

‘Can poor countries afford to pay almost a billion dollars to buy fighter jets that might never fire a shot in anger in a decade? If we were a poor country would [we] have let a handful of officials steal almost $500 million in pensions over the last 10 years? Could a theft of such a grand scale have gone undetected by a country that prides itself on more intelligence outfits than you can count in a day?

Kalinaki wrote that Uganda would never truly be able to say it was independent while it continued to receive foreign aid.

‘How can we claim to have celebrated 50 years of independence this year when 25 out of every 100 shillings we spend in the budget is begged from donors?’ Kalinaki wrote.

The most recent Order Paper for the Ugandan Parliament from Thursday lists the Anti-Homosexuality Bill as ‘business to follow’ and it is feared that it could be voted on as soon as next week.

International pressure has piled onto Uganda since the drafting of the bill which could see homosexuals jailed for life and executed if convicted of multiple offences.

Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu is the latest public figure to speak out against the bill.

A day after the editorial, another Ugandan newspaper, the Red Pepper tabloid, published pictures that it claimed to show that the coach of the country’s national football team was having an affair with a player.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Do's and Don'ts for dog sledding

We feel like experts after playing with the dogs and talking to the dog sledding champs at the ICEHOTEL in Swedish Lapland
No thumbnail available

Pride movie, Michael Cashman and Sarah Waters win Stonewall Awards

Read the full list of winners as Britain celebrates the best of its LGBTI community
No thumbnail available

Kenya’s ‘Stone The Gays’ bill reportedly found unconstitutional

Parliament’s legal affairs committee rejected the Anti-Homosexuality Bill finding it to come into conflict with international interests
No thumbnail available

Benedict Cumberbatch amused by gay fan fiction written about his Sherlock Holmes

'It’s usually me getting it — I’m biting Watson’s dog tags'
No thumbnail available

Lesbian gives homophobic dad a 'driving' lesson

‘My dad is a strong Baptist and made sure we knew we were going to hell. I made sure he understood he was a d**k’.
No thumbnail available

‘Gay panic’ killer walks free after four years

An Australian man who killed a man he claimed had made a gay pass at him has walked free after only four years in jail after using the so-called ‘gay panic defense’ to downgrade a murder charge to manslaughter
Swimmer on how life has changed since he sent out this tweet: 'Yes... I AM GAY... Who cares?'

Swimmer on how life has changed since he sent out this tweet: 'Yes... I AM GAY... Who cares?'

Javier Ruisanchez has been a member of Puerto Rico's Junior National Swim Team since age 11
No thumbnail available

Heather Small announced for Bristol Pride

M People frontwoman set to perform at 'green' LGBTI event in July
No thumbnail available

Ice hockey star releases You Can Play video against gay hate

NHL star Matt Hendricks, of Washington Capitals, says you shouldn’t need courage to go into the locker room as he backs gay players
No thumbnail available

Putin refuses to meet with Elton John to talk gay rights

The Kremlin has claimed no meeting is happening because they have not received an official invitation