Members of Parliament on the Human Rights Committee on Wednesday tasked officials from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics – UBOS to explain how they concluded that the country had attained a middle-income status amid starvation in the country.
Last month, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni while addressing the country at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds during the annual State of National Address declared that Uganda has attained middle-income status.
UBOS led by James Muwonge, the Director of Methodology and Statistics was on Wednesday 2022 appearing before the Committee to answer to considerations of the Human Rights Annual Report for 2018 to 2021.
But, Members of Parliament on the Committee led by their acting Chairperson, Milton Muwuma of Kigulu County in Iganga District tasked Muwonge to explain their declaration of middle-income after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank disputed it.
Ben Koryang, the Dodoth West MP tasked UBOS to explain why they misled the President and how they arrived at declaring the country as having attained middle income.
Koryang wondered why the IMF says Uganda has not attained middle-income status based on their statistical information, and yet UBOS says Uganda has attained.
Muwuma, questioned if it was not an exaggeration to declare Uganda as being in middle income, or as nearing middle income and yet people are still starving to death in regions like Karamoja while others still survive on less than a dollar a day.
ut Muwonge said that they did not mislead the President, but used the Gross Domestic Product (GNP) to arrive at the declaration, while the IMF and World Bank used Gross National Product (GNP). He explained that the GDP looks at all people in Uganda irrespective of whether they are Nationals or not and yet GNP looks at only nationals, income accrued to nationals.
Muwonge added that they are in discussions with the UN to harmonize the discrepancies.
According to the World Bank, lower-middle-income countries are those with a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita which is between US $1,036, about Shillings 4 million and US $4,045(about Shillings 15.6 million), and upper-middle-income countries are those with a GNI per capita which is between US $4,046 and US $12,535, about Shillings 48 million.