Just three days to the reading of the national Budget, civil society organisations under Black Monday Movement, have asked government to present a people-centered Budget that addresses concerns of the common man.
Addressing journalists in Kampala yesterday members said government must ensure that fiscal policies and budgeting processes are pro-poor, gender sensitive and sustainable. They also warned government about wasteful expenditures through what they called “unnecessary supplementary budget requests”.
“We the citizens of Uganda are greatly concerned about increasing budget indiscipline as observed from consistent supplementary budgets from ministries, government departments and agencies,” said Ms Patricia Munaabi, the Forum for Women in Democracy executive director.
Members cited instances where police spent Shs10b to inspect jets and where the Ministry of Agriculture spent Shs4b in the 2013/14 financial year to teach people how to eat Mukene (silver fish) as wasteful and extravagant.
“We are concerned that instead of curbing such wastage and investing the savings more strategically to key sectors like health, education and agriculture, government has preferred to reduce capitation grant for the Universal Primary Education, which is in itself is a form of corruption and injustice to the young generation,” said Ms Angella Nabwowe, the programmes manager, Initiative for Social and Economic Rights.
Ms Cissy Kagaba, the Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda executive director, advised government to avail more resources to revamp the UPE. “Vision 2040 will not work with supplementary budgets that only go to ministry of Defence and State House. Unless government cuts abuse of funds and put money into productive sectors, the poor will always remain poor at the expense of the rich,” she said.
In his State-of-the-Nation address delivered last Thursday, President Museveni said his government would continue to invest in agriculture, adding that poverty has declined to record levels despite challenges.