What you need to know:
- In the proposed budget for the Financial Year 2023/24, an amount of Shs239 billion has been provided for State House. The legislators proposed the reduction of the State House Budget by Shs82 billion.
Opposition Members of Parliament are against the Shs350 million that has been proposed for bedding, clothes and footwear at State House.
The money has been allocated under the Annual Budget Estimates for the Financial Year 2023/2024.
Led by the Shadow Minister Finance, Mr Muwanga Kivumbi and Kira Municipality legislator, Mr Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda who presented the Minority Report together, the legislators rejectedsome of the proposals in the Majority Report presented on the Floor by the Budget Committee Chairperson, Mr Patrick Isiagi Opolot (Kachumbala County).
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“There is Shs350 million to buy clothes. The same amount was provided last year. This means, we are spending on average Shs1 million on President’s clothes everyday,” Mr Ssemujju said while referring to the Minority Report.
“Our President is not a star from Hollywood requiring to change [his] wardrobe every day. He is a president of a poor country. Why buy him clothes worth Shs350 million every year? What happened to the clothes that we bought last year?” Mr Ssemujju added.
In the proposed budget for the Financial Year 2023/24, an amount of Shs239 billion has been provided for State House. The legislators proposed the reduction of the State House Budget by Shs82 billion.
“….How on earth can we provide Shs43 billion for ceremonies when the road network in the capital city has broken down. The money for ceremonies should be spent on repairing roads in Kampala and Wakiso,” Mr Ssemujju said.
The legislators drew attention to other items being funded under State House, including furniture that has been allocated with Shs600 million and veterinar Services (Shs 184 million) among other items.
“The President has a duty not to abuse State House. But if he chooses to do so, this Parliament is under obligation to stop him,” Mr Ssemujju said.
Adding: “President Museveni despised former President Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa for turning State House into what he called clearing house. He has now surpassed him. In fact Mr Museveni has turned State House into an enterprise for himself and family.”
Mr Opolot recommended that the government sets aside adequate resources in the domestic arrears budget to clear the current stock after revealing that the public debt is projected to increase by 2.5 per cent in the coming financial year.
Mr Kivumbi recommended enhancing domestic revenue mobilization and undertaking structural reforms as a way of guaranteeing affordable concessional credit from development partners.
By press time, the House was still making deliberations as they prepare to pass the final 2023/2024 Budget later today before being presented by the Finance Minister Mr Matia Kasaija on June 14. Speaker Ms Anita Among is chairing the House.