The Budget Committee members have raised concerns over the delayed distribution of the funds despite appropriation by parliament leading anxiety in the villages. While meeting Planning minister David Bahati the MPs also questioned the intent of government to allocate Shillings 50bn to Kampala during the campaign season.
of the Budget committee of Parliament have raised a red flag over a supplementary
request of an additional Shillings 160bn for the presidential initiative on Job
and wealth creation.
The poverty alleviation initiative that has been dubbed ‘Emyooga’
targets Ugandans from 18 clusters
including Boda boda riders, taxi drivers, restaurants, welders, market vendors
and women entrepreneurs who form Saccos where each gets UGX30 million as seed
The request for additional funds for Emyooga was tabled
before the committee by the state minister for planning David Bahati on Monday as
part of a UGX3.4tn supplementary budget request that he was providing
According to the supplementary request UGX50bn is to provide
additional support to the Emyooga initiative in Kampala and Wakiso areas, while UGX110bn has already been distributed under the initiative in the rest of the
country since it was part of the 3% of the supplementary budget that the government
can spend without approval.
However the committee members led by the committee
chairperson Amos Lugoloobi queried the validity of the latest allocation.
Lugoloobi noted that the Saccos had been formed by the beneficiaries at the
grassroots but no funds have ever been received by the groups even after release of the money, he wondered what kind of processes are being
employed to distribute the funds.
//Cue in: The ordinary wanainchi............
Cue out: ..............this emyooga."//
The Dokolo district woman MP Cecilia Ogwal rejected the idea
of giving Kampala a lion’s share of the allocation and accused the minister of
using the initiative to help neutralize the opposition support in the city
especially given the huge support enjoyed by the National Unity Platform
presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi.
She asked the minister why Kampala
has to be given a special status from the rest of the country.
Ogwal has also accused the government of using the Emyooga
initiative as a ruse to collect signatures of citizens which she suspects have
been used to support President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s nomination as a presidential
candidate in the forthcoming general election.
//Cue in: This emyooga thing.................
Cue out: ................have gone."//
The Kumi county MP Charles Illukor also objected to the
allocation noting that a statement on the floor of parliament by Haruna Kasolo
the state minister for micro finance last month had indicated that the
government already has Shillings 30bn to distribute and only requires an
additional Shillings 36bn, he said the contradicting figures from government
was very suspect.
However a perusal of the ministers statement by URN shows
that the minister actually indicated that out of a total allocation of Shillings
210bn, a total of UGX 140bn has already been disbursed.
Following a heated exchange between MPs and the minister, the
committee has resolved to retrieve the record of the Hansard and approve funds
according to the actual record of the minister in the house.