A presidential inauguration next year and an anticipated papal visit this year have seen a jump in the budget allocation for the Office of the President by at least Shs 15bn, The Observer can reveal.
According to the ministerial statement for the presidency tabled before parliament, the ministry’s budget has climbed from last year’s Shs 368bn to Shs 383bn next financial year.
The presidency comprises the Office of the President, State House, Internal Security Organisation, External Security Organisation, Uganda Aids Commission and the Ethics and Integrity ministry.
Out of Shs 383bn, Shs 253bn has been allocated to State House, Shs 53bn to the Office of the President and Shs 46bn to Internal Security Organisation.
According to the budget break down seen by The Observer, the Shs 15bn increment will be shared between the Office of the President (Shs 14bn) and State House (Shs 1bn).
Defending the budget increment, Frank Tumwebaze, the minister for the presidency, said inauguration of the president-elect early next year and the anticipated papal visit are two very significant events that necessitated the adjustment.
“All these endeavours will no doubt require the active involvement and support from all stakeholders, including parliament,” he wrote in the executive summary of the ministerial policy statement.
According to the policy statement, Shs 2.5bn is earmarked for the swearing-in ceremony of the president-elect 2016, Shs 2bn for enhanced monitoring by RDCsDRDCs, and Shs 5bn for the papal visit. Another Shs 2bn has been allocated to the newly-created department for Kampala Affairs and about Shs 1bn for the implementation of the strategic plan for the Directorate of Economic Affairs and Research, and acquiring new vehicles for the cabinet secretariat.
Internally, classified expenditure by the Office of the President is set to increase from Shs 11bn to Shs 18bn while inland travel expenses are to rise from Shs 2.1bn to Shs 2.2bn.
Of the Shs 253.2bn allocated to State House, presidential donations, classified expenditure and inland travel will consume more than half of the budget. The breakdown shows Shs 89.4bn going to presidential donations, Shs 36.7bn to classified expenditure and Shs 35bn on inland travel. The rest of the money will be spent on allowances and wages.
About Shs 3.8bn has been earmarked for special meals and drinks in State House. Shs 5.4bn has been allocated to Ethics and Integrity to coordinate, among others, the national effort against corruption.
Shs 6.487bn will facilitate RDCsDRDCs in monitoring government programs and Shs 2.65bn for the coordination of patriotism clubs countrywide.
Source : The Observer