Parliament approves Sh600 billion for Operation Shujja, Martyrs day celebrations

Parliament has approved a supplementary budget of Sh617.97 billion  for the 3rd June Martyrs’ day activities, classified expenditure, and Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) operations in Congo.

The approval followed a request by Henry Musasizi, the Minister of State for Finance –General Duties.  The supplementary budget is for this financial year 2021/2022 which is scheduled to end on June 30.

Some of the approved funds for different activities include Sh 77 billion under State House for classified expenditure, Sh64.49 billion to facilitate UPDF Operation Shujja in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), Sh87.5 billion for UPDF operations in Karamoja sub-region,Sh 251.7 billion for wage shortfalls and others.

The others are sh 86.3 billion under the Office of the President to cater for external financing from EXIM Bank for the National Science, Technology, Engineering and Innovation Skills Enhance Project (NSTEI-SEP), Sh 66 billion for completion of Kayunga and Yumbe Hospitals, Sh25 billion for works on security roads in Karamoja region and others.

Also approved is Sh2.5 billion  to facilitate the election of the office bearers for the Uganda Moslem Supreme Council, Sh1 billion shillings for Fort Portal Catholic Diocese, and Sh600 million shillings for Greater Ankole Diocese to facilitate preparations for the Uganda Martyrs Day celebrations.

The other beneficiaries are Naguru Referral Hospital (183 million) for additional Non-Tax Revenue to facilitate procurement and maintenance of diagnostic equipment, Sh396 million for Mission in Cairo for procurement of 2 vehicles, and Sh21 billion shillings for Local Government’s additional revenue for land compensation payments.

Nathan Nandala Mafabi, the Budadiri West MP asked Minister Musasizi to explain how the budget for this financial year has shortfalls for salaries and wages when these are statutory expenditures that are always budgeted for first.

Musasizi said that since the budget was passed on 31st May 2021 there have been new recruitments like the appointment of ministers, presidential advisers, promotion of officers in the army, and new recruitments at parliament among others.

Parliament agreed with the Minister and passed the supplementary budget.

Earlier during the Finance Committee meeting, a section of MPs questioned the urgency of funding to religious institutions under the Ministry of Gender. Musasizi noted that the events being funded have timelines and it was the prerogative of President Yoweri Museveni to fund religious institutions.

Musasizi said that the supplementary request would be handled through both domestic and external borrowing.

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