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Uganda’s Increasing Public Debt Will Burden The Youth & Their Children

By Sam Evidence Orikunda

Our elders have been so heartless that they’ve ‘eaten’ in their time and they also want to eat our “future’.

So many times, you hear about government borrowing billions of shillings from the international organizations to do a number of projects. Uganda’s public debt is about to hit Shs50 trillion with repayment still very poor.

The youth do not take keen interest in those stories, because maybe they think that debts will be paid easily by those in government today! No, some might not be even available at the time when the owners of the money will be wanting it back, just like you’ve heard that the youth are leaders of tomorrow!

But how does it feel, to take up a government that has so many debts which must be paid with no available resources?

Absolutely stressful! A lot of time will be put on clearing debts and less time will be put on building the country since you must fight to regain it first.

Imagine someone handing over a future that he will have already eaten? How will that future be helpful to you? How peaceful will you be to live in that future?

In fact, the ‘Pest’ has not only eaten your future, but it has also eaten the future of your children. Come on youth of Uganda!  

This borrowed money seems to be sweet to the people holding positions now, that it doesn’t take them at least a week without suggesting to borrow some good millions of money to do project A or B.

Funny enough, a meeting that has never said no to this rampant behavior, must sit to approve the borrowing!

One wonders if we can discourage importation of goods which can be locally made in Uganda. Why can’t we discourage unnecessary borrowing?

Do we have the capacity to pay back? Absolutely no! The resources we’ve today will be the same resources we shall have in future when the Young people are in Charge.

God is not returning to reshape Uganda neither have we communicated with Him about it.

Unfortunately we’ve even destroyed the natural resources that we have today.

So many swamps are cleared to do private business and a lot of other bad things we do against our environment.

 The only long lasting asset we’ve as a country are the natural resources which are also not fully protected. 

I am sure that,  now that I’ve raised the Question of the national debt burden, someone will ask me how I want good service delivery  to the citizens without funding because government needs money to do a number of services like infrastructure, electricity etc. But why should someone enjoy music, dance and laugh in a borrowed dress?

Will that same happiness come when the owner of the dress takes it back?

Absolutely no! You will have had a partial happiness and return to your usual sadness when the owner comes.

Let’s therefore not be blindfolded by what is being done by borrowed money which we shall struggle to pay in future for Uganda to remain standing and owned by us.

What is more hurting and stressful is that even when we borrow, the money doesn’t do what its intended to as it ends in the pockets of individuals to build luxury mansions and hotels which will be a property of their children in future.

The youth then, will not know that the money which was used to set up those mansions belonged to the public.

Even if they remember, they will not have the audacity to demand for it, the law will not allow.

The only solution would be stopping that theft now. 

Last night, I watched an exclusive documentary on NTV about the theft of  funds at Rural Electrification Agency (REA), a lot of money has been stolen, millions of dollars meant to work on electricity projects in rural areas ends up in the pockets of top managers at REA.

The same is repeatedly done at other government institutions but might not catch the attention of the media.

I think REA is so unlucky to have caught the attention of investigative journalists at  NTV.  In that same program, all I heard was that “investigations are on” same slogan of Uganda police and several other government spokespersons. 

It could sound funny, but it’s high time the youth got to know that their future is sold off.

It’s been done tactically that nobody has interest in knowing why has it been done and why?

We’ve been so lazy to stand out and ask why? For instance, someone has borrowed but has not explained to us, how the paying back will be done. This is what we ought to have done, you’ve borrowed yes, but tell us how paying back will be done! 

Come on youth, get out of slumber, the biggest part of your future has been sold off and eaten, for how long shall you sleep?

 Even when your clothes are being taken?

 As the youth, we need to take keen interest in our future and stop the “Excessive trust” we’ve put in the elders because they have abused it. The elders know the lullabies that make babies catch sleep quickly. Open your eyes or else, you will be forced to have them remain open in the future as you struggle to pay back what elders borrowed and eaten. 

The writer is the Western youth member of Parliament.

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