IMF boss pushes Uganda on mismanagement

IMF head Christine Lagarde advised Uganda on Friday to create “strong institutions to keep mismanagement in check”.

She was speaking at the end of a visit to the African country which saw itself in trouble last year after the World Bank said it would withhold new lending over mismanagement fears.

During her visit, Lagarde met President Yoweri Museveni who assured the IMF boss that problems would be dealt with.

“We are not going to tolerate slow workers and bureaucracy in the civil service; this is curable by ejecting those who are sleeping on the job and replacing them with those who are awake,” he said.

Speaking at a public lecture in Kampala, Lagarde said although Uganda’s growth has for the last 30 years hovered at about five percent, this was not enough to create the “swift development that is so needed”.

With increased infrastructure investment and the oil sector moving forward, Lagarde said she was confident growth could accelerate to 6 or 6.5 percent in the coming years.

However, she also said “there is no room for complacency”.

The World Bank has estimated that, if Uganda’s investments were better managed, annual growth could be 2.5 percentage points higher from the current 5.3 percent.

Uganda found itself pleading last year after the World Bank in September took a decision to withhold new lending to Uganda effective 22 Aug. 2016 after reviewing the country’s portfolio in consultation with the government.

The government blamed the aid cut on low absorption of funds and moved to place reforms aimed at strengthening investment management and efficiency.