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MPs Stay Approval of Supplementary Budget Request for Radio Receivers :: Uganda Radionetwork
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MPs Stay Approval of Supplementary Budget Request for Radio Receivers

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.
27 Oct 2020 21:53
Budget Committee Chairperson Amos Lugoloobi presenting a report to parliament.

Audio 4

The Budget Committee of parliament have queried the government’s proposal to spend Shillings 336.8 billion to purchase radio sets for all homesteads in the country.  

The money is part of the bigger supplementary budget request worth Shillings 353.8 billion presented to the Committee by the Planning State Minister, David Bahati on Tuesday afternoon.

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.  

However, Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal criticized the government request as bogus, saying it is impractical. She questioned how the government expects a family with children from different classes to use one radio set to learn.

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Ogwal noted that all evidence on the radio project points to somebody trying to do business. “I feel somebody is taking us for a ride and they are taking this as a committee of rubber stamping. There is lack of integrity and lack of truth on this issue of radios. The practicability of the utilization of this one radio is bogus,” she said.  

 

The West Budama South MP, Richard Othieno questioned the program and wondered why the government plans to buy radio sets to facilitate learning after announcing the resumption of studies by March 2020.

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Charles Illukor, the Kumi County MP tasked Bahati to explain why the government only provided Shillings 72 billion for reopening schools and allocated a huge sum to the purchase of radios.

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Bahati explained that the schedule for reopening schools is not fixed and that keeping children home without any form of learning was dangerous. He argued that the radios will not only work for the distant learning program but will also remain as assets for homes.

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The Budget Committee Chairperson, Amos Lugoloobi  also expressed fear about the government’s proposal, saying the planned distribution of masks was marred by various challenges, adding that to date many Ugandans are yet to receive a government mask.

“If someone is talking about assembling radios, we know how much time it took to distribute masks, but now we are talking about 9million radios, what period will it take for the country to get the radios? There was the circulation of reading material, it was a failure,” he said. 

The committee resolved that the Minister of Education and Sports appears in their next meeting to explain the plan before any decision is taken.  

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