Minister Kasaija Denies Telling School Owners to Sell Their Schools.
The Minister for Finance, planning and Economic Development Hon Matia Kasaija has disputed media reports that he said school owners should sell their schools to clear bank loans.
Speaking to Journalists at Parliament, Kasaija clarified that he only advised school proprietors to negotiate with banks to extend the grace period to allow them to pay off the debts, but should that option fail, the school owners can alternatively sell off some of their properties like plots of land to pay off the bank loans.
“There are stories that I said the owners should sell their schools, that’s not true, that’s not what I said; I said that if you have some little property somewhere and you’re stuck because we don’t know when COVID will end so that things begin to move, you can sell it to pay the bank,” Hon Kasaija explained.
Hon Kasaija recalls way back in 1997, how he borrowed money from a cooperative bank into the business, it didn’t succeed and it was his house he used as security at the bank. Kassaija claims he decided to sell his prime plot in Gaba to pay off a bank loan to save his house. He says it was in that context he advised school owners to do the same to save their schools from being taken by banks.
While appearing before the parliamentary committee on trade and tourism last week, Matia Kasaija told proprietors of private schools who are choking on unpaid loans and accumulated interests, to sell part of their property and redeem themselves.
Kasaija said that the government does not have money to bail out every business which was affected by Covid-19. He said his advice was misinterpreted by the school owners and other Ugandans.