Wednesday August 1 2012

No money to pay former leaders - government

By Mercy Nalugo

There is no money to pay former leaders in recognition of their contributions to the country, the Minister for Public Service, Ms Seezi Mbaguta, said yesterday.

The revelation comes just a year after the government committed itself to pay former presidents, vice presidents, prime ministers, speakers of Parliament, deputy speakers and members of the presidential commission.

The revelation came after MPs currently handling ministerial policy statements had demanded to know when government would pay the former leaders. “My electorate from Busoga told me to demand answers from Parliament and government when our former Vice President Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe would be paid since she is one of those past leaders,” said the Namutumba District woman MP, Ms Florence Mutyabule.

But the minister in her explanations said the allocation for the past leaders is not in the budget.
“We sorted out issues of who would benefit and how we would finance them but we do not have this allocation in the budget. Shs11 billion is needed. Whereas we want them paid, we must have the resources,” Ms Mbaguta said.
The decision to pay former leaders followed an outcry from their families for government to recognise the role they played when still in active service.

Subsequently, Parliament passed the 2009 President, Vice President and Prime Minister Emoluments and Benefits Bill that was made law that very year.

MPs last year demanded that the leaders be paid the money this financial year. The minister then assured Parliament that the Shs11 billion would be allocated for the payment of former leaders this year.