Security sector facing Funding Gaps Amidst Counterterrorism Efforts

The Minister of State for Internal Affairs, Gen.  David Muhoozi says that they have made significant strides in combating terrorism through the joint efforts of security and intelligence teams.

 

Muhoozi on Thursday, 21 March 2021 led a team from the Ministry, Uganda Police, Uganda Prisons, Amnesty Commission and Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Bureau in the presentation of their ministerial policy statements for the Financial Year 2024/2025 before the Parliament Committee on Defence.

 

He reported on the ongoing efforts to combat terrorism stating that the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) continues to destroy the Allied Democratic Front (ADF) terrorists using airstrikes.

 

Muhoozi added that collaborative operations between the police and other security agencies have resulted in the busting of ADF cells and criminal gangs. He emphasised the importance of vigilance and the use of National Identity Cards to enhance security.

 

He however, shed light on a significant funding gap that threatens the ministry's ability to execute its mandate effectively.

 Muhoozi revealed that for the fiscal year 2023/2024, the ministry received only a fraction of its revised budget, with a significant portion remaining unreleased. Notably, capital development suffered the brunt of this shortfall, amounting to Shs355 billion.

 

While the ministry had sought supplementary budget allocations to address emergency expenditure areas and unforeseen expenses, these were not incorporated into the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), according to the Minister.

 

This omission, Muhoozi says, poses challenges to sustained service delivery and necessitates persistent requests for supplementary funding during budget implementation.

 

Muhoozi further highlighted the impending reduction in the ministry's budget for the next fiscal year, representing a 22 per cent decrease compared to the current financial year.

“This shortfall, amounting to Shs444.129 billion threatens to impede critical service delivery priorities, including efforts to combat terrorism and maintain internal security,” he said.

He called for continued support for initiatives such as the expansion of CCTV surveillance systems and the implementation of the sub county policing model to counter terrorist threats and criminal activities effectively.

 

Meanwhile, the Undersecretary in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Lynnette Bagonza highlighted the pressing need to implement key legislative measures.

 

Bagonza emphasized the necessity for funds to ensure compliance with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards on anti-money laundering and combating financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) estimated at Shs3.064 billion.

 

Additionally, the implementation of the Explosives Act, 2023 and the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substance Act, 2023 requires substantial financial resources.

Bagonza stated that Shs8.856 billion and Shs10 billion respectively is needed for the first year of implementation.

 

Bagonza also highlighted the shortfall in funding for commercial explosives regulation and security provision for vital installations.

Out of the required Shs14.2 billion, only Shs5.3 billion has been provided.