Uganda’s State House has asked Parliament to approve its supplementary budget totalling to Shs23.1bn as the 2016/17 Financial Year nears closure.
On Wednesday, State House officials led by the Minister for Presidency, Esther Mbayo appeared before the Parliamentary Budget Committee to defend the requested money.
She was accompanied by State House Comptroller, Lucy Nakyobe.
Defending the budget, Mbayo said that State House is mandated to provide support to the Presidency at all times in order to facilitate effective and efficient performance of its constitutional and administrative responsibilities.
She added that her docket also caters for the welfare and security of not only the President, but also the Vice President and their immediate families.
“The vote has exhausted its annual provision on several Non-Wage Recurrent Items and requires additional funding to settle the outstanding obligations as well as facilitate operations through the remaining period of the financial year,” Mbayo said.
She explained that the supplementary budget arose due to higher activity levels than anticipated, adding that movements in exchange rates during the first half of the year greatly affected several contracts and pushed up travel abroad expenses upwards.
Asked for breakdown of the money being sought, Mbayo said Shs615m will cater for telecommunications, Shs220m for electricity and Shs365bn for water.
Other expenditures include Shs5.028bn for classified expenditure, Travel Inland (Shs9.55bn), Travel Abroad (Shs3.5bn), Insurance (Shs1.475bn) and Makerere University Visitation Committee (Shs2.434bn).
However, MPs were astonished by the planned expenditure on water.
Defending the expenditure on water, Mbayo said: “I want to inform the public that State House is not looked at as State House Entebbe, but as the president and his immediate family, the Vice President, Staff, State Lodges and other activities funded under State House. With the water that is really raising a lot of concern, members should know that the water budgeted for caters for all those areas.”