Cabinet has directed Finance Minister Matia Kasaija to renegotiate the purpose of the $40m (About 147bn) loan that the World Bank had forced on Uganda to fight sexual abuse.
This website has established that Kasaija and his team will fly to the US next month to convince the World Bank allow Uganda to channel the loan into education and poverty alleviation.
“It is like the World Bank is forcing us to take a gender based violence loan. They said it will be hard to give us money in future if we do not the loan,” Kasaija said.
“I was not convinced about the loan. But when I called the World Bank representative, he said the question of environment and gender is key at the World Bank, and that if we don’t get the loan, he did not know whether it will be easier to campaign for Uganda to get more loans and grants,” Kasaija said
“Therefore, I went to cabinet half hearted. However, cabinet has decided that rather than get the money to do gender sensitisation, we should renegotiate the loan. So cabinet has directed me to renegotiate the usage of that loan,” he added.
The loan to fight sexual abuse and harassment of women working at public infrastructure projects has cause stir in the public with majority of the citizens arguing that there are better things that such money can be channelled to. Yet, according to the World bank, protection of women is crucial matter that should be decisively dealt with.
Following reports of the sexual harassment of women working on Fort Portal-Kamwenge road, the World Bank suspended financial support to Uganda. One of the terms that is oiling the lifting of the financial ban on Uganda is the $40m loan to specifically protect women from harassment and abuse.