The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Uganda: Inflation Sparks Riots

Posted on | April 29, 2011 | 8 Comments

A 3.8% inflation rate is enough to make Americans complain about rising prices. Now imagine 14% inflation in Uganda — a much poorer country — and you have a formula for political disaster:

KAMPALA, Uganda — This capital city was brought to a virtual standstill Friday as angry protesters set up roadblocks, setting them ablaze throughout Kampala, and the police and military cordoned off neighborhoods in the largest and most violent day of protests since the demonstrations started nearly three weeks ago. . . .
Kizza Besigye, the opposition politician leading protests who was partially blinded after being violently arrested Thursday, was allowed to fly to Kenya on Friday for medical attention, according to the news station Nation TV, after initially being rebuffed. . . .
Troubles in this relatively peaceful and easygoing East African country began this month when Mr. Besigye called for demonstrations against rising commodity prices less than two months after Mr. Museveni handily won re-election after 25 years in power. . . .

The Christian Science Monitor quoted a small business owner in Kampala:

“The prices are only going higher and the anger growing,” Ssentongo said. “This is not going to end soon.”

Besigye is a demagogue, exploiting the people’s anger over inflation by claiming it is the result of government corruption, but the government’s harsh reaction — and the discontent over rising prices — have made him a sympathetic figure. Here is a video report from Al-Jazeera:

And here is a video report from a Ugandan network:

Let me ask you something: Do you believe that the government in Kampala is causing their inflation? Or does it occur to you that when the Federal Reserve pursues a blatantly inflationary policy, that this is a very large stone thrown into the global economy, so that the ripples are felt severely in places like Uganda? And Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain . . .

Not to sound too much like a tinfoil-hat crank or anything, but there are times when the phrase “international bankers” is not just for conspiracy theorists. And this may be one of those times.


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