Govt to spend sh 3b on office space for 20 Presidential advisors

Presidential advisors

View of Kampala Kingdom building (courtesy photo)

The government is seeking a supplementary budget allocation of sh3.3 billion Shillings to secure office space for more than 20 Special Presidential Advisors at the Kingdom Kampala building.

On the list, of those who will occupy the offices, is former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, former Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, former Security Minister General Elly Tumwine, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, Amelia Kyambadde, Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, and Sarah Kanyike among others.

This was revealed by Yunus Kakande, the UJndersecretary in the Office of the President who had appeared before Parliament’s budget committee to request a supplementary budget of close to sh36 billion.

According to Kakande, sh3.3 billion has been used to procure office space and partition it at Kingdom Kampala, a building owned by businessman Sudhir Ruparelia.

The advisors will join 323 Members of Parliament who already have offices at Kingdom Kampala, a facility rented at 18 billion shillings for two years.

Kakande said that the process which is expected to be complete by January 2022 was unavoidable because of the Presidents appointment.

Meanwhile, part of the supplementary budget arises out of payment of 1.5 billion Shillings to Commonwealth Resort, Munyonyo, another facility owned by Sudhir Riparellia, for hosting State visitors for the Swearing of President Museveni and inaugural ceremonies in May 2021.

Others are the payment of court awards to former Makerere University Chancellor Mondo Kagonyera at 3.9 billion Shillings and operationalisation of the Apex platform at 3 billion Shillings, for learning and effective utilization of monitoring and evaluation results, and build capacity within the Office of the President and other oversight actors that will, in turn, enhance the overall monitoring and evidence-based reporting for all government policies, programs, and projects.

Another 550 million Shillings is for the procurement of station wagons for the Minister for Economic Monitoring among others.

However, the committee chairperson Patrick Isiagi Opolot asked the team to go back and reconcile their presentation as they did not clarify the money that they have already spent compared to what they are yet to spend.

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