By Andrew Irumba
There is a growing fear among business experts and analysts that Uganda risks losing her independence and sovereignty to China, because of the huge debt burden the government has acquired from Chinese funders in a short period of time.
Analysts warn that the Ugandan government is now at risk of losing its main state assets to China over unpaid huge increasing loans from the Chinese government.
But according to the Ugandan government, the growing debt is sustainable, and the country is not at risk of losing state assets to China, the country’s finance minister Matia Kasaija said recently.
It should be noted that business analysts warned last year that the Kenyan government risks losing the lucrative Mombasa port to China if the country fails to repay huge loans advanced by Chinese lenders, but both Chinese and Kenyan officials refuted reports
that the port’s ownership is at risk.
Others think the Chinese government is in some ways composed of gangsters, taking over mines all over Africa, sending thousands of Chinese workers, destroying the environment, bringing the minerals such as copper, zinc, gold, silver, diamonds etc home, and making deals with corrupt politicians to plunder the countries.
“The case is one of the examples of China’s ambitious use of loans and aid to gain influence around the world and of its willingness to play hardball to collect,” said the New York Times in December 12, 2017.
This however comes at a time in Somalia when local fishermen are struggling to compete with foreign vessels that are depleting fishing stocks, after government granted 31 fishing licenses to China.
But it Uganda’s auditor-general warned in a report released this month that public debt from June 2017 to 2018 had increased from USD9.1 billion to USD11.1