The Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa has urged Members of Parliament to remain calm as the government continues to engage the World Bank on funding of new projects.
The World Bank Group issued a statement on 08 August 2023 suspending new public financing to Uganda following the enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023.
The World Bank said that the new law contradicts its moral values of eradicating poverty without discrimination.
The World Bank indicated that a team was deployed to Uganda to review additional measures necessary to ensure projects are implemented in line with World Bank environmental and social standards.
“No new public financing to Uganda will be presented to our Board of Executive Directors until the efficacy of the additional measures has been tested,” read the World Bank statement.
Tayebwa who chaired the House on Tuesday, 15 August 2023 said he was aware Cabinet is already in talks with the World Bank over the matter.
“Colleagues I do not know why you are panicking as if the country is going to shut down. I saw the communication of the President saying they are engaging with the World Bank” said Tayebwa.
He stated that any external threats resulting from the passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 should not shake the House saying the decision was taken with all firmness and understanding.
“When we were making this decision, we knew it would have repercussions and we are prepared and strong about the decision we made. The moment we start panicking, it means we do not know what we were doing,” Tayebwa said.
Tayebwa’s remarks followed concerns by Otuke County MP, Hon. Paul Omara over the suspension of the funding.
Budadiri County West MP, Hon. Nathan Nandala-Mafabi noted that the budget is passed based on expected income and dispelled the fears that suspension of the World Bank funding might call for budget review.
“The budget is an expenditure as a result of income. If you don’t realize income then the expenditure will be affected. The Ministry of Finance has not yet complained, but even if it does. If they say out of Shs52 trillion we have only Shs10 trillion, we will work within that budget,” said Nandala-Mafabi.
The Minister of State for Finance, Hon. Henry Musasizi revealed last week that government was engaging the World Bank on its decision to cut financing of projects in Uganda.