Bloomberg News

Ugandan Opposition Group Plans More Protests Over Inflation

October 11, 2011

(Updates with comment by opposition group in third paragraph.)

Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- A Ugandan opposition group said it plans to resume so-called walk-to-work protests this month over the rising cost of living after inflation in the East African nation surged to an 18-year high.

The demonstrations will be organized to highlight the increase in food and fuel prices and the “wastage of public resources,” the Activists for Change group known as A4C said in a statement on its website today.

“The economy is in crisis, with rising inflation, escalating unemployment, and soaring fuel and food prices,” it said. “It is becoming harder and harder for Ugandans to feed their children and provide for their good health and education.”

At least 11 people died and more than 480 were injured during protests in April and May over rising costs, according to the Uganda Red Cross. Last week, Uganda’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by 4 percentage points to curb inflation that surged to 28.3 percent in September.

Uganda’s police chief announced last month the authorities would step up security to deal with the planned “disruptive activities.” The state has labelled A4C a “sinister project that must be shunned, because if allowed to be implemented, it will undermine the current efforts to solve the problems of the country and plunge the country into chaos.”

A4C said its next campaign will begin on Oct. 13, where it will announce a calendar of its planned activities.

Uganda, East Africa’s third-biggest economy and the continent’s second-largest coffee producer, is scheduled to become an oil producer next year when Tullow Oil Plc begins pumping crude and gas from the Lake Albert Basin.

--Editors: Karl Maier, Ana Monteiro

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Richardson in Nairobi at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.


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