The Committee on Budget, chaired by Mr. Patrick Isiagi, rejected an additional Shs 3.393 trillion purportedly included in a Shs 3.5 trillion supplementary budget proposal in a parliamentary session held on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, . The government had tabled the budget for approval during a session chaired by Speaker Anita Among the previous week.
The committee members expressed dissatisfaction with the presentation by the Minister of State for Finance in Charge of General Duties, Mr. Henry Musasizi, and Mr. Ismael Magona, the Director of Budget at the Finance Ministry. They accused the officials of providing unclear figures and attempting to process documents different from those presented before Parliament.
Mr. Musasizi defended the supplementary expenditure, stating, “In line with the above section of the law, I laid before Parliament supplementary expenditure under Schedule Number 1 for the Financial Year 2023/2024 amounting to Shs3.500 trillion.” However, Mr. Maxwell Ebong Patrick Akora raised concerns about the lack of clarity in the figures, suggesting that the total request was approximately Shs7.2 trillion.
Buliisa Woman MP Norah Bigirwa-Nyendwoha expressed disappointment over what she perceived as an attempt to mislead the committee. She called for honesty in governance and urged the Ministry of Finance officials to fulfill their mandate transparently.
Mawogola South MP Gorreth Namugga proposed a temporary halt to discussions on the supplementary budget until the Finance Ministry officials clarified their figures for scrutiny. The committee, led by Mr. Isiagi, echoed this sentiment, demanding a clearer statement from the officials.
In a resolution, the committee dismissed the additional figure of Shs3.393 trillion, as it was not included in the original document containing the Shs3.5 trillion supplementary budget. The committee assured expedited scrutiny of the remaining budgetary request from various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, with a report to be presented to the House later in the week for parliamentary endorsement.