Members of the Budget Committee discussing final changes to their report. The House approved Shs64 billion for the UPDF in DR Congo
Parliament has approved Shs152 billion to facilitate the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) offensive operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Karamoja sub region.
Shs64.5 billion of the approved Shs152 billion, will facilitate UPDF to flush out the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militants in DRC in the ongoing joint operation with the country’s armed forces (FARDC) codenamed “Operation Shujaa” while Shs87.5 billion will be spent to pacify Karamoja sub region in a disarmament exercise, code named “Usalama Kwa Wote” loosely translated to mean “Peace for All.”
This is part of the Shs617.9billion Supplementary Schedule No.2 for Financial Year 2021/2022 that Parliament approved during the plenary sitting on Thursday, 19 May 2022.
The Minister of State for Finance (General Duties), Hon. Henry Musasizi, said that supplementary expenditure which is coming barely a month to the new financial year has been warranted by expenditure pressures from 10 Votes to cater for salary shortfalls, emerging security concerns and other critical activities. He assured the House of the guaranteed source of funding.
“This supplementary will be funded into two categories; Shs510.3 billion will be financed by additional [domestic] borrowing, while Shs107.6 billion will be funded by additional local revenue and external financing,” Musasizi said.
Part of the approved supplementary expenditure (Shs77billion) has been allocated to State House for classified expenditures, while Shs86.3 billion has been allocated to the Office of the President to cater for external financing from EXIM Bank for the National Science, Technology, Engineering and Innovation Skills Enhance Project.
Shs25 billion has been allocated to Ministry of Works and Transport to facilitate works on security roads in Karamoja region, while Shs251.7 billion will go to meet wage shortfalls under various Central and Local Government Votes.
Among other expenditures include; Shs2.5billion for Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development to facilitate election of the Office bearers for the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, Shs1 billion for Fort Portal Catholic Diocese and Shs600 million for Greater Ankole Diocese to facilitate preparations for the Uganda Martyrs Day celebrations 2022.
Prior to passing the supplementary budget, Members of Parliament questioned some of the expenditures as unnecessary, non-critical and result from government’s poor planning. This is in relation to Shs251.7 billion to pay salaries in Local Government.
“Salaries are a statutory deduction; I do not understand how government can budget for salaries and we still get a shortfall. This is one area that has been abused by government,” Budadiri West County MP, Hon. Nathan Nandala-Mafabi, said.
Minister Musasizi said the wage shortfalls resulted from unforeseen recruitments from the Executive.
“We passed the current budget on 31 May 2021 and it became operational in July. However, on 8th of June 2021, the President appointed ministers and among the ministers he appointed some were ex officio members. He also appointed presidential advisors, RDCS and made promotions in the army among others. All these were not envisaged in the current budget,” Musasizi said.