KAMPALA – The Ministry of Defense and Veterans Affairs is seeking up to sh6.3 trillion to finance its budget for financial year 2021/2022.
This was revealed by the Minister for Defense and Veterans Affairs Adolf Mwesige who said that Government has failed to raise Uganda shillings 2.470 trillion for the Ministry and has provided only 3.9 trillion of the total amount of 6.3 trillion.
In 2020/2021 the Ministry was appropriated 4.539 trillion shillings and later secured a supplementary of 1.152 trillion bringing the Ministry’s expenditure to 5.690 trillion.
Mwesige was today unveiling the budget report of his Ministry before the Parliamentary committee on Defense. The overall resource envelope for next financial year is projected at 40.91 trillion shillings.
According to the breakdown, the items affected by the shortfall are; Wage which requires 1.1 trillion, only 610 billion was provided, non-wage which requires 1.2 trillion has got an allocation of 774 billion, Capital investment which requires 3.3 trillion has got an allocation of 2 trillion shillings, and arrears requiring 202 billion has got only 14 trillion.
Some of the affected projects under Capital investments are; UPDF barracks construction at 760 billion, classified equipment at 127.5 billion, and equipment for military referral at 108.2 billion.
Other projects include; Ministry Headquarters fund at 62.5 billion, Transport Equipment at 4.2 billion, specialized machinery and equipment at 2 billion, land compensation at 80 billion, and national military museum at 86 billion shillings.
However, a section of MPs rejected the list of arrears saying, the figures submitted do not project the true picture, citing incidences where UPDF has forcefully occupied people’s land without compensation and yet they are now seeking this money.
Muwanga Kivumbi, the Butambala County MP tasked the Ministry of Defense to explain why the Army has continued to occupy Kabaka Ronald Mwenda Mutebi’s land in Makindye and Mbuya barracks without compensating the Kingdom, a debt he says has risen to 58 billion shillings.
He said, “The Ministry of Defense most of its strategic installations are seated on my Kabaka’s land totaling to arrears of Shs58Bn which the Ministry adamantly, obsolutely with impunity refused to pay and even acknowledge as arrears.” He asked.
Minister Adolf said that something is being done to clear the kingdom’s debt for the land the Army is occupying.
The Committee deferred the consideration of the Army’s budget after discovering that the 21.2 billion shillings allocated to Uganda Air Cargo Corporation was spent on items not budgeted for.