During the Thursday afternoon plenary debate, the Opposition vehemently rejected the 2.59 trillion Shillings supplementary expenditure, and the Shadow Minister of Finance Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi termed it an attempt by the Ministry of Finance to arrogate itself powers to appropriate.
On Tuesday, three witnesses including Peter Amara, Namuli's son-in-law, Kyle Lubega, and Richard Bizibira from Lubega & Buzibira Company Advocates, the city law firm that acted on behalf of the claimant gave parallel testimonies while appearing jointly before the MPs.
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.
A big chunk of the money (481 billion Shillings) is going to the Uganda National Oil Company for its portion of equity investment into the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Ltd for the construction of the crude oil pipeline for transporting Uganda's crude oil from Hoima to the Port of Tanga in Tanzania to enable access to international markets.
The decision by the Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga to stay the approval of the supplementary budget followed disagreement by MPs in regards to the Shillings 12.1billion request under the Uganda Land Commission -ULC to settle outstanding compensation under the Land Fund to 6 beneficiaries.
Domestic Borrowing is done through the issuance of government securities like treasury bills which are short term debt instruments with tenures ranging from 91, 182 and 364 days and treasury bonds with a maturity period of more than a year.
In his statement, Bahati said Shillings 336.86 billion is meant for the purchase of 9 million radio set receivers for all Uganda homesteads as one of the strategies of supporting long-distance learning given the fact that schools are closed due to CooVID-19 pandemic.
Ruhinda North MP Thomas Tayebwa says that many businesses are facing challenges accessing loans because of the COVID-19 risks, and fears that as the government moves to borrow, many banks will withhold money from Ugandans with the hope of lending to the government.
Uganda and DRC entered a bilateral agreement to implement strategic infrastructure projects which includes constructing the road from Kasindi to Beni measuring about 80 kilometres, Beni to Butembo measuring 54 kilometres and the Bunagana border to Ruchuru-Goma road which measures 89 kilometres.
The ministry released the money to districts in April, to intensify the campaign against the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding was part of a 304 billion Shillings supplementary budget approved by parliament to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Only a handful of members have returned the money. They include the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah (Omoro County), Samuel Odonga Otto (Aruu South), Catherine Lamwaka (Omoro District), and Tochi County MP Peter Okot. All the other legislators have remained silent with no communication of intent to return the money or not.
Innocent Amony, a resident of Gulu Municipality argues that the funds should have been channelled to priority areas like improving the capacity of Gulu Regional Referral Hospitals and payment of allowances to health workers at the front-line combating COVID-19.
Although the Finance Ministry is seeking Shillings 284 billion to mitigate the corona virus pandemic impact, Shillings 81 billion is going to security while Shillings 62 billion will be channeled to the Health sector, which is at the forefront of combating corona virus.
Parliament has approved a Shillings 1.6 trillion supplementary budget request by government for the current financial year 2018/2019 part of which is to carter for the ongoing President Yoweri Museveni’s country wide tour on wealth creation.
Section 15 of the public finance and accountability act allows the executive to spend and seek retrospective supplementary budget approval while section 12 of the Budget Act also allows the minister to grant supplementary budgets to a vote limited to 3% of the entire budget. The MP\'s argue that this affects the budget through budget cuts since there is no specific source of financing for the supplementary budgets.
Shadow Finance Minister Geoffrey Ekanya further explained that last yearâ€™s Financial Budget for development component for most of the districts was not released saying that the budget process was losing meaning and becoming an affair that has no tangible result on the ground but is there to fulfill Constitutional obligation.