The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has directed government through the Ministry of Finance to effect payment of Shs. 39.2bn before the end of the current financial year.
The Speaker’s ruling followed a matter of National Importance raised by Pallisa County MP, Jacob Opolot who noted that despite Parliament passing a supplementary budget for Social Assistance Grant for Empowerment (SAGE) funds meant to aid the elderly, not funds have been released by the Ministry of Finance.
The legislator said that in May, 2018, Parliament approved a Supplementary budget of Shs15.38bn as government contribution as counterpart funding which still is an arrear
“Unfortunately the money has never been released and our development partners are becoming uncomfortable with our government because it doesn’t live to its commitment,” Opolot said.
Opolot noted that all efforts have been made to contact the Ministry of Finance but no results have been yielded yet the financial year in coming to an end.
In her ruling, the Speaker expressed disappointment with the manner government is handling business.
“I want to say this, I am very disturbed with what government is doing, I don’t think Parliament should be treated as a casual place where members sit and chat just for the sake; this house sat, a lot of time was spent by members and we passed a supplementary,” Kadaga said.
Kadaga thus directed that the following payments be made by government before the end of the June 30.
“Shs15.3bn SAGE counterpart funding to the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Shs7bn as partial payment to Dr. Mohamed Kasasa, Shs6.05bn of which Shs4.1bn to Gerald Isingoma land and Shs1.9bn to Masindi Hotel limited. Shs3.97bn of which 1.97bn is to Lango cooperative Union, Shs1bn to Busoga Cooperative union and Shs1bn to MTAC, Shs7bn on arrears of food to Uganda Prison Services.”
“A total of Shs39.32bn and we must pay it without joking, the Minister of Finance must come back to us with evidence of payment and stop fooling around with Parliament.” Kadaga ordered.