22 May 2019

Uganda: Parliament Approves More Shs17b for Museveni Country Tours

Parliament — Parliament has approved Shs33 billion as additional budget for State House to run President Museveni's activities about four weeks to the end of the financial year.

The budget includes Shs17.6 billion for Mr Museveni's ongoing field tours countrywide, which he says are for sensitising the public on poverty alleviation and Shs15.7b for classified expenditure. The supplementary request dated May 17 was yesterday tabled before Parliament's before the Budget Committee yesterday by Minister of State for Planning David Bahati.

According the documents tabled in Parliament, the money will be used for transporting, feeding and accommodating the President and his entourage.

Finance minister Matia Kasaija said: "He has to fly; there are cars following him, then the advance team, so it is not cheap," he said.

The approval was done amid objections from the Opposition who claimed the President wants the money for early campaigns.

MPs Muwanga Kivumbi and Cecilia Ogwal opposed the expenditure, claiming the President's field operations should be funded by his NRM party since he is engaging in early election campaigns.

"You have to advise the President that if he is going for a nationwide campaign he should avoid NRM politics," Ms Ogwal said. In all the regions Mr Museveni has visited, he has been endorsed as the NRM sole candidate.

He has toured West Nile, Bunyoro, Tooro and northern Uganda where he has commissioned roads and addressed public rallies in the last three weeks.

In 2018/2019 financial year, the President was given Shs249b for field operations.

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