Thursday May 15 2014

Museveni orders Finance ministry to release funds for Parliament car park

Ms Rebecca Kadaga (C), the Speaker of

Ms Rebecca Kadaga (C), the Speaker of Parliament, President Museveni (R), and other officials conduct a tour of Parliament’s new parking area during its launch in Kampala recently. PHOTO BY GEOFFREY SSERUYANGE. 

By Yasiin Mugerwa

President Museveni has instructed Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka to release at least $3 million (about Shs7.5 billion) needed to pay for a security deal that will cover Parliament and other neighbouring government installations.

Information before the Parliament’s Budget Committee shows that the total cost of the deal signed with a Chinese company is $6.5 milion (about Shs18 billion).

The Clerk to Parliament last year wrote to ministry of Finance requesting for Shs18 billion for the procurement of the security system. The previous Parliamentary Commission had agreed that the money for the security system be channelled through Parliament, the user agency.

However, the new Commission objected to the idea and attempted to reverse the decision, but ministry of Finance has since included the balance in the 2014/15 Budget for the Parliamentary Commission.

Under scrutiny
The Budget Committee is currently scrutinising the request for the $3 million needed as a down payment under the deal the security services signed with a Chinese company.

The Shs7.5 billion according to Security minister Muruli Mukasa, is urgently required to cover installation of security systems in the Parliament’s Shs36 billion multi-level car park, Parliamentary Buildings both old and new extensions, the various access controls, and the President’s Office.

Budget Committee chair Amos Lugoloobi this week revealed that when minister of Internal Affairs Gen Aronda Nyakairima, police chief Gen Kale Kayihura and other security officials met the President on April 29, they told him that only Shs18 billion was needed for the procurement of the security system.

Mr Lugoloobi told the MPs that in a meeting held at State House Entebbe the President directed that, “between $2m-$3m be released immediately to kick-start the implementation of the security system without further delay.”
It was on the basis of that advice that Mr Museveni is reported to have directed the ministry of Finance through the minister of Security in his letter dated May 7, to release the money urgently for the project to proceed without delay in view of “current terrorism threats”.