Ugandan cardinal urges Govt to listen to aid donors

Uganda's Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala has urged President Yoweri Museveni to address the concerns of foreign-aid donors, after Britain withdrew announced it was withdrawing its $A12.2 million aid package over delays in Uganda's return to multiparty politics

Urging the government to be more responsive to concerns being expressed by donor nations, Cardinal Wamala told local reporters that "when the donors withhold aid from Uganda, it is the grassroots, the would-be beneficiaries, who suffer more than government officials."

The donors, who supply 52% of Uganda's government budget, have been steadily increasing pressure on the Museveni government to promote real democratic reforms. Uganda to date has made only small steps toward political pluralism, legalising opposition parties but allowing them very little freedom to operate.

President Museveni reacted to the British withdrawal of aid by saying that no other country should dictate Uganda's policies. He also claimed that Uganda would not need foreign aid, if the Uganda Revenue Authority could cut inefficiencies and crack down on tax evasion.

Other Ugandan political leaders disagreed, pointing out that the country is still among the least developed nations in the world, and remains heavily dependent on outside aid.

The President blamed "meddling" by Western donors for the country's failure to end 19 years of conflict in the country's north.

Ugandan cardinal bids government respond to concerns of aid donors (Catholic World News 4/5/05)

Uganda blames troubles on Western 'meddling' (Reuters/Globe and Mail 3/5/05)
Kenya: missionary dies in road accident (Independent Catholic News/CISA 4/5/05)
Togo: government shuts down Catholic radio station (Independent Catholic News/CISA 4/5/05)
The tragedy of Africa's girl soldiers (Catholic World News 27/4/05)

6 May 2005