KCCA, Research Institute get big share of supplementary budget

Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) are the two big beneficiaries from the supplementary budget passed by Parliament on Tuesday, 26 May 2020.
Out of the Shs33.3 billion passed, KCCA and UIRI will each get Shs10 billion, shs2.4 billion will go to the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, the Finance Ministry will take shs1 billion with the rest going to 27 local governments.  

The Chairperson of the Budget Committee, Hon Amos Lugoloobi  said that KCCA needed the funds for road maintenance; UIRI needed it to operationalize the machining, manufacturing and industrial skills training centre. He added that the Ministry of Gender needed funds to cater for the street children who are in the different homes and also hand those still on the streets.

Lugoloobi however, noted that the committee was concerned about the growing number and frequency of supplementary requests.
“This worsening trend undermines the credibility of annual planning and budgeting as entities appear to be avoiding detailed scrutiny during the normal budget process in favor of supplementary budgeting whose expenditure can be allowed to take effect prior to the approval of Parliament,”  he added.

A section of Legislators, disagreed with idea of approving the supplement budget saying that the  justifications were significant.

Hon. Joshua Anywarach (Indep., Padyere County) said government had other sources of funds and needed to only come to Parliament for emergencies.

“A considerable number of activities have been held up for over four months now;  travel has been suspended for the rest of the financial year; that is money saved and the government could utilise that,” he added.

Kira Municipality MP, Hon. Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda said there are urgent needs that require the government’s attention unlike those presented.

“We have Ugandans who are stuck in transit on their way back to Uganda yet we hear that UIRI needs money yet it has been grappling with laying off workers because it lacks the funding; how do we expect it to operate the training institute,” he said.

Ssemujju described the Ministry Finance as indisciplined for bringing several supplementary budget requests within a short period .

Mukono South MP, Hon Johnson Muyanja Ssenyonga said that Parliament was attacked for passing a supplementary budget that many deemed unnecessary.

“We need to know how this money is being spent. We know government has saved a lot of money after reducing its activities this financial year; how do we account for that saving?” he said.

Rubanda County East MP, Hon Henry Musasizi said that,  ‘ in line with approving of the supplementary budgets, this particular supplementary is unavoidable, unforeseen and absorbable because it intends to cover many gaps in the local governments’.

“The financial year is coming to an end yet many districts have not been able to complete their activities especially construction projects because of the pandemic; they need the authority of Parliament to keep spending this money, which necessitates the supplementary,” he added.

Hon Robert Kasule Ssebunya (NRM, Nansana Municipality) added that besides UIRI and the Privatisation Unit which were not urgent and an actual waste of money, the other institutions required the money.

Hon. Lugoloobi also added that most of the expenditures fronted in the supplementary were unavoidable especially in cases where government has committed itself.