Uganda’s Microfinance State Minister, Haruna Kasolo, has stirred controversy by proposing a law that would allow the physical punishment of “lazy-poor” Ugandans to compel them to work and become wealthy.
Kasolo, speaking at a meeting with the Kayunga Muslim District Sacco, expressed frustration with the persistence of poverty despite government initiatives like Emyooga and the Parish Development Model (PDM).
He suggested that future legislation could mandate beating the “lazy-poor” to push them towards wealth acquisition.
Kasolo emphasized the government’s efforts to eradicate poverty through programs like Emyooga and PDM.
He conveyed his disappointment with some Muslims misinterpreting Islamic banking principles, particularly in rejecting interest-free programs like Emyooga.
The Minister criticized the mismanagement of Emyooga funds in Buganda region, contrasting it with success stories in Western Uganda.
Encouraging a savings culture, Kasolo donated Shs1m to the Muslim Sacco and announced a countrywide PDM monitoring program. He warned of arrests and prosecutions for officials found embezzling funds.
Sulaiman Madada, a Muslim leader, highlighted the Sacco’s five-year strategic plan for income-generating projects and financial inclusion in the district.
Despite government data indicating over 18 million Ugandans living in poverty, Kasolo’s proposed punitive approach has sparked debates about its ethical and legal implications.