April 29, 2011 / 9:31 AM / in 7 years

UPDATE 1-Ugandan inflation leaps to 14.1 pct in April

* Food prices surge again

* High inflation sparks protests in capital

By Elias Biryabarema

KAMPALA, April 29 (Reuters) - Uganda’s year-on-year inflation rate jumped to 14.1 percent in April from 11.1 percent in March, the sixth straight rise in a country hit by protests over high food and fuel prices this month.

The Uganda Bureau of Statistics said in a statement on Friday that food crop prices rose 39.3 percent in April from the same month a year earlier, up from 29.1 percent in March.

Overall, food prices climbed 5.9 percent in April from a month earlier, pushing the inflation rate to 30.8 percent, up from 23.7 percent in March.

“The increase in prices of these food items is attributed to low supplies to the market,” the statistics office said. “Prices for petrol, diesel and paraffin went up mainly due to rising prices of oil on the international market,” it said.

Protesters angered by high food and fuel prices have taken to the streets in Uganda five times this month and an opposition leader has been arrested four times.

Police fired bullets and tear gas at protesters again on Friday, killing at least one person. [ID:nLDE73S0PH]

“Inflation will remain comparatively high. Political stability affects inflation and investments of a country,” said Kwame Owino, chief executive officer of the Institute of Economic Affairs in Kenya’s capital.

“As the crisis builds up in Uganda, it’s clear a ‘law and order’ approach will not suffice because that will not bring down the cost of living. Maybe if they go the Kenyan way and cut some taxes, it will offer some relief to consumers,” he said.

Additional reporting by Beatrice Gachenge in Nairobi: Editing by David Clarke

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