African presidents are not the aid beneficiaries

THE WORLD BANK recently halted a $90million loan to Uganda which was meant to strengthen healthcare systems in Uganda.The Netherlands froze Euro 7million subsidiary to Uganda’s legal system, while Denmark and Norway said they would re-direct around Euro 6million each towards private sector initiatives, aid agencies and rights organizations. 

THE WORLD BANK recently halted a $90million loan to Uganda which was meant to strengthen healthcare systems in Uganda.The Netherlands froze Euro 7million subsidiary to Uganda’s legal system, while Denmark and Norway said they would re-direct around Euro 6million each towards private sector initiatives, aid agencies and rights organizations.  

The reason behind was the signing of an anti- gay bill by President Yoweri Museveni. 

 

On the other hand, President Museveni in his power and wisdom as an African leader and elder who strongly defends the African culture, customs, values, norms and taboos, was highly convinced that he signed the anti-gay law in the interest of the majority Ugandan’s and this is one of the principles of any good leader; to do what his people want. 

 

Western societies have their own culture and customs which are different from those of Africans, but there is this push for Africans to abandon their own culture and customs and adapt Western ones in whole sale and without question. 

 

The writing on the wall is for Africans to embrace “Western cultural globalisation” however unacceptable and uncomfortable it is, or risk starvation and death for vulnerable Africans because the west will close their purses. 

Western countries have over decades used this punishment  of aid cut, freeze, suspension on African countries, in response to some displeasure with sitting African leaders whether such displeasures are genuine or not. 

In this particular case, President Museveni who signed the ‘displeasing’anti-gay law is only an Aid recipient on behalf of millions of Ugandans who are the dependents. 

When the World Bank halts $90million meant to strengthen the Ugandan healthcare systems, innocent children are going to die of the infant killer diseases that would otherwise have been prevented. 

Pregnant mothers will die of labour complications because there will be no adequate anti natal care. 

Those who will die are the ordinary Ugandans while President Museveni who angered the donors does not depend on this type of healthcare system that the World Bank has denied millions of vulnerable poor Ugandans.

In other circumstances, people in need of food will die of starvation because world food programme will not get money to buy and distribute food to the needy.  

These and many other evil happenings are the consequences of Aid suspension and freeze. The question here is not whether President Museveni was right or wrong in signing the anti-gay law, but whether the punishment of Western countries to cut or freeze Aid is not a gross violation of fundamental Human Rights. 

Aid cuts or freeze have no effect on African presidents but are simply meant to arouse the anger of the ordinary people to rise up against their leaders when they suffer starvation or lack medicine and other necessities. 

Aid cuts serve to incite strikes and demonstrations among citizens against their governments and such motive does not support development though this formula comes from none other than the very people referred to as development partners. 

The ongoing debate among aid analysts is whether political strings attached to Western Aid will soon be history due to emerging liberal economies or are still here to stay as long as African countries are not yet able to  satisfy their needs.

One lesson we Africans should learn from this kind of attitude is that being poor is a crime and we should stop being poor or else, we even risk complete loss of our identity.

No one should be more concerned than ourselves when we are starving or our children dying of preventable diseases. Self-reliance is not an option but a must if Africans have to retain their identity, values and dignity; as president Kagame usually reminds the Rwandan people.

Twitter: @GeraldMbanda

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