Following a petition to the heads of government organs, inter-religious council and other civil societies by the University guild students leaders, a petition that was derived from a proposal by Rtd Lt Magufuri Mugisha Moses that was asking Museven’s Young brother Gen Saleh to consider the first tracking of establishment or put up an agricultural and Co-operative Bank.
It has become as urgent as it has never been before that Ugandans deserve to have an agricultural and Cooperative Bank to help resurrect our economy!
It is clear that despite countless efforts by government to get Ugandans out of poverty through several programs like entandikwa, OWC, emyooga ,YLP, now PDM, majority of Ugandans have remained in subsistence economy with high levels of unemployment, poverty & high debt burden at 80 trillion
It is a fact that government revenue has stagnated at less than 50 percent of the total budget, public debt is skyrocketing at above 50 percent threshold while tax to GDP ratio remains at 14 percent Instead of recommended 18 percent. This is on top of a recent report by Bank of Uganda that showed that only one percent (about 228,000 Ugandans) earn one million per month.
In the students’ petition to the President and other government agencies including Parliament, students declared total support despite of their political ideologies, religion and culture to support the proposal by the retired UPDF officer turned politician Rtd Lt Moses Mugisha Magufuri the suggested reinstatement of the Co-operative Bank and also instituting an Agriculture and cooperative Bank with intent to support the farmers in agro processing and from over exploitation from commercial banks
The students’ petition has come in a timely manner when our economy is limping as result of continued syndicated corruption and needs immediate economic Reform or rescue.
According to their petition, the foundation of Uganda’s economy was destroyed when IMF and world Bank agents led by Prof Paul Coullier advised Ugandan government to privatize hence putting the economy in the hands of the private sector!
Suggesting that a government can not manage any business was to concede that one can’t run an efficient government which was a big lie.
The four biggest banks in terms of assets in the whole world are government owned; ICBC, China Construction Bank, The Agricultural Bank of China & Bank of China. The second biggest Bank in Kenya the National Bank of Kenya is government owned , Egypt, Liberia, etc have established government banks which are running succefully. Why no not a pearl of Africa-uganda
In Uganda we privatized everything from banks to Industries, from farmer cooperatives, telecom companies to mention but a few and this has a negative effect on Economic and political Independence
According to Magufuri’s proposal which has been supported by almost all University and tertiary guild students leaders in Uganda, it’s because of putting the economy in the private sector that has caused our economy to stagnate.
For example Bank of Uganda can not easily regulate banks when it is running in the whims of IMF and world Bank socalled advisors.
Ugandans can not take any decisions if they don’t manage any parastatal.
Magufuri’s argument is that the large number of SACCOs and saving groups in the country can better be managed if there is a Cooperative Bank where these SACCOs can borrow money as well as individual Ugandans. The other critical thing needed is to promote Cooperative College Kigumba to start awarding degrees like it is in Kenya or Tanzania Than teaching Chinese languages which is seen as an expansion of neolonisation.
His argument is also that the many foreign banks in Uganda have not provided cheap capital to the farmers and as a result they have been subjected to loan sharks in the name of money lenders who cheat them in broad day light or else they run to banks which demand interest on a monthly basis yet farmer’s harvest after six months and ADB with Agricultural facility funds are not accessible to common farmers calling government to take advantage of so far already formed PDM Saccos to be governed the proposed Bank for effective implementation of PDM sustainably
It’s only an Agricultural and cooperative Bank run by farmers themselves that can know the problems of farmers in such an undeveloped economy, and they can tailor their operations to help the farmers and not to cheat them. Currently there is no bridge that connects farmers who constitute 70 percent of our population to the financial sector and this explains why there is no bank that gives good packages to farmers, this is what the Agricultural Bank seeks to achieve!
Magufuri also proposes to have a comprehensive agriculture insurance scheme to guard farmers against natural calamities that most times affect our farmers its lack of this that many potential investors fear to invest in the agriculture sector.
With insurance in place, and access to cheap and favorable capital by the farmers, there will be guaranteed increase in Agriculture production resulting from the many improvements that would happen along the agriculture value chain. This would automatically create more jobs at various steps along the value chain (preparing land, planting, harvesting, post harvesting, value addition through manufacturing, marketing & consumption)
If the government is serious, it can run this bank successfully.
Magufuri’s proposal is that there are many government initiates where government has channeled billions of money but these schemes have been messed because of being run unprofessionally as well as being politicized.
The students need our support from the President, Cabinet and Parliament. Ugandans should watch their MPs and whoever doesn’t support Magufuri’s Pan African initiative should be isolated and voted out.
Magufuri’s proposal puts a red line, you are either for us (Ugandans) or against us (foreigners) it’s against this that our country shall have a new hope!
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