Posts tagged as: budget

Increased Budget Allocation to Push Govt Industrial Drive

By Bernard Lugongo

Dodoma — The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has doubled development budget in the 2017/18 financial year, pushing the country’s industrialisation drive further.

The ministry, yesterday, asked Parliament to endorse a proposed budget of 122 billion/- for the next financial year, out of which 80bn/- will be set for development projects and the remaining 42bn/- for recurrent budget. In the current financial year, the development budget stands at 40bn/- and 41.8bn/- was for recurrent budget.

Comparatively, the recurrent budget for 2016/17 and that of 2017/18 has remained almost the same with a slight increase of 0.2bn/- , but there was a significant increase of 40bn/- in development funding.

When tabling the budget, the Minister for the docket, Mr Charles Mwijage, pointed out that the budget allocation indicates the government’s commitment to realise industrialisation vision come 2025.

Some of the development projects to be undertaken during the coming year as endeavours to build an industrial-economy base, establishment of special economic zones, developing the industrial area in Kibaha (TAMCO), developing researches for the development of industries, and to increase capital in the National Entrepreneurship Development Fund (NEDF).

He said that 200m/- from the development budget will be spent for developing flagship projects, such as in coordinating and monitoring works for the Liganga and Mchuchuma coal projects in Njombe Region.

Furthermore, about 2bn/-, equivalent to 2.8 per cent, of the development budget, will be used for financing building of a base of industrial economy, including Soda Ash project at Engaruka Valley and revival of General Tyres industry in Arusha.

Giving statistics of the industries established so far, Mr Mwijage said the country has 49,243 factories whereby 85 per cent of them are very small industries, small industries account for 14 per cent, middle industries (0.35 per cent) and big factories (0.5 percent).

“These figures give a picture that industrial development in Tanzania, like it is the case in other countries, comes as a result of putting more strength on small and very small industries as well as middle -level factories,” he argued.

Since the Fifth Phase Government took power, over 390 big industries worth 5tri/- were registered by last March and are expected to provide at least 38,862 job opportunities to Tanzanians.

These industries are at different stages of implementation, while some of them are at the final stages, ready for production. The Parliamentary Committee on Industries, Trade and Environment asked for timely disbursement of funds to the ministry so that it could undertake development projects within the planned timeframe.

Meanwhile, the Committee appealed to the government to lift the ban on coal importation into the country.

The Committee Chairperson, Mr Stanslaus Nyongo (Maswa East-CCM), told Parliament that the current local production of coal does not meet the required demand, especially that of cement manufacturers.

According to Mr Nyongo, as the government gears up to boost local production of coal by attracting major investments in the area, it should allow manufacturers to import the commodity. “Apart from low production of coal, manufacturers are facing a major challenge in transporting the commodity from Ruvuma to their plants.

The roads around the coal mine areas are in bad state and are impassable during rainy season. The nearby railway line can’t handle heavy load. Currently, coal amounts to 70 per cent of entire production cost of cement,” he said.

When contributing to the proposed budget, some MPs expressed anger over privatised industries whose owners have failed to develop them and as a result they collapsed.

The Mtama lawmaker, Mr Nape Nnauye (CCM), and Special Seats MP Mwanne Mchemba (CCM) unanimously proposed that the government should immediately repossess those collapsed industries from investors and give them to others.

New Device Touted As Anti-Malaria Weapon

Kibaha — The government has been advised to supplement district and municipal council budgets, to enable them buy biolarvacides, the latest and effective to deal with malaria- before it occurs.

The Tanzania Biotech Products Ltd Acting General Manager, Mr Samuel Mziray, said here yesterday that the government could save a lot of money currently spent on battling malaria, if the councils were empowered to buy biolarvacides that kill mosquito larvae instead.

He cited lack of political will as a spoiler, noting that so much money was spent on buying medicines and nets, while the problem could be tackled more effectively by destroying mosquito larvae breeding grounds.

Mr Mziray said only Geita and Mbogwe district councils had bought biolarvacides in compliance with a government circular channeled through the regional administration and local government authorities last year.

He lamented that the ‘charity begins at home’ maxim was undermined, noting that the company, which is capable of producing more than 60 million litres a year, had exported 92,000 litres to Niger, and discussions to deliver supplies to Serbia, Sri Lanka and Cuba were at an advanced stage.

Mr Mziray pointed out that the charity Doctors Without Borders had since started using biolarvacide products in refugee camps.

The company’s Acting Commercial Manager, Mr Frank Mzindakaya, remarked that the products had proved to be highly effective, environment- friendly and easy to apply.

Besides controlling malaria, they were also effective in tackling viral infections like dengue, yellow fever and Nile fever.

Tanzania

Increased Budget Allocation to Push Govt Industrial Drive

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has doubled development budget in the 2017/18 financial year, pushing the… Read more »

Govt Expects Over 12000 Returnees By July 2018

Photo: IOM/UN

Rwandan returnees from Tanzania (file photo).

By Eugene Kwibuka

At least12,000 Rwandans who still live in foreign countries as refugees could return home between July and June next year as a result of implementation of the Cessation Clause, officials at the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDIMAR) have said.

The estimate was revealed, yesterday, by Minister Seraphine Mukantabana while appearing before the parliamentary Standing Committee on National Budget and Patrimony to present MIDIMAR’s Budget Estimates for Financial Year 2017/18.

The minister said December 31 being the deadline by which Rwandan refugees who fled their country before December 31, 1998, will no longer be considered as refugees, a massive homecoming by returnees should be expected during the next fiscal year that starts in July and end in June next year.

“Because December 31 is the very last date, they may consider it as serious and decide to come home. We have advised the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to set aside as much money as possible to be able to receive and reintegrate every Rwandan who will come home,” she told journalists shortly after meeting with the MPs.

Under the Cessation Clause, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, has been working with governments across the world to implement a strategy of bringing to proper closure the situation of Rwandan refugees who fled the country before December 31, 1998.

The strategy for invoking the clause contains four components to ensure that Rwandans who fall under the category no longer claim to be refugees, including their voluntary repatriation, local integration in host countries, retention of refugee status for people still in need of international protection, and the invocation of the cessation clause, which would see them lose refugee status.

Inside the Cessation Clause

The UNHCR defines cessation clauses as built into the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1969 Organisation of African Unity Refugee Convention, which provide for refugee status to end once fundamental and durable changes have taken place in the country of origin and the circumstances that led to flight no longer exist.

In the case of Rwanda, UNHCR has recommended that cessation come into effect from June 30, 2013, but the deadline has since been postponed several times until the latest one, which is due on December 31, 2017.

Both Rwandan and UNHCR officials in the country say the current social, political, and security conditions in the country are favourable enough for Rwandan refugees to return home.

“The situation in Rwanda is perfect. Refugees should come back home. There won’t be postponement of the Cessation Clause,” said UNHCR country representative Saber Azam at a news conference in December.

MIDIMAR officials estimate that at least 245,000 Rwandans could be still living as refugees across 20 countries in the world with a large number of them believed to be in DR Congo.

Ministry’s Budget Estimate

The majority of current Rwandan refugees left the country as a result of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and some 3.4 million citizens have since been repatriated.

Unlike in the current fiscal year when MIDIMAR had planned that 20,000 former refugees would be repatriated and integrated into society even though about 4,800 have come home so far, it has planned for 12,000 returnees in the next financial year.

“We plan for these numbers but they could increase or decrease because returnees come back on a voluntary basis. All we pledge is that the Government will afford to reintegrate every Rwandan who will return,” Minister Mukantabana said.

MIDIMAR has asked Parliament to approve slightly over Rwf42 million in line with reintegrating the returnees during the next fiscal year and also asked the Ministry of Finance to plan for standby funds just in case of a higher influx of returnees.

In total, the disaster management ministry has asked the Government to allocate slightly over Rwf4.5 billion for its operations in the next fiscal year, which will also include the management of thousands of foreign refugees hosted in the country, as well as the reduction of risks for natural disasters and response when they strike unexpectedly.

South Africa: Minister Eyes R20 Billion in Med Scheme Tax Credits for NHI Fund

Cape Town — Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, says the tax credits that are being earmarked for the establishment of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Fund amount to R20 billion.

The Minister said this when he tabled the Department of Health’s Budget Vote in the Old Assembly Chamber in Parliament on Tuesday.

This comes after former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced in his February Budget Speech that government was looking at setting up a NHI Fund and that in setting up the proposed fund, a number of options would be explored, including possible adjustments to the tax credit on medical scheme contributions.

“… The tax credits mentioned in the February 2017 Budget Speech by Treasury is a whooping R20 billion. Yes, R20 billion that in 2015 and annually will leave the fiscus through the SA Revenue Service [and] back to the pockets of people simply because they are members of a medical aid scheme (sic),” the Minister said on Tuesday.

Addressing Members of Parliament, the Minister said returning these tax credits back to medical aid schemes, instead of using it for universal health coverage, did not make sense.

The Minister said the time has come to use the fund to level the playing fields and provide services that would benefit the less privileged.

“This is the worst form of social injustice committed in the name of the cream of the South African society with our full participation… We believe the time to change and move towards economic equity as O.R Tambo had declared, has now arrived.

“We are proposing that the first step towards implementation of NHI is to pick up those who are outside the system of medical aids and provide services for them through the NHI Fund, which must be created from, among others, the R20 billion tax credits,” he said.

What the NHI can be used for

Minister Motsoaledi said, meanwhile, that in a massive reorganisation of school health during the first phase of the NHI pilot, the department has completed the screening of 3.2 million school kids for physical barriers to learning, including eyesight, hearing, speech and oral health.

He said a total of 500 004 school kids were found to have several problems. This includes 8 891 children with speech problems that will need a speech therapist; 34 094 children with hearing problems that will need an audiologist or maybe hearing aids; 119 340 with eyesight problems that will need an optometrist, ophthalmologist or maybe spectacles, and 337 679 children with oral health problems that may need a dentist, dental therapist or oral hygienists.

Minister Motsoaledi said the NHI Fund will, once established, be used to help the 500 000 children that have been screened.

“We will provide free antenatal care in the form of eight visits to a doctor to each of the 1.2 million women who fall pregnant annually. We would also provide them with family planning, provide for breast and cervical cancer screening as well as treatment where appropriate,” he said.

The Minister said through the fund, the department would also be able to provide better services for mental health users including screening and subsequent services.

The elderly would also benefit by being given assistive devices like spectacles, hearing aids and wheelchairs. The department would also be able to provide assistive devices to people living with disabilities.

“We will also deal with the backlog of blindness caused by cataracts. The backlog is now 270 000 elderly people who are presently blind and are awaiting cataract removal.

“We can perform 90 000 operations a year for the next three years to clear the backlog. This to us will be the beginning of revolutionising the way healthcare is provided in our country,” Minister Motsoaledi said.

NGOs Coalition Lobby for Increased Budget for Justice Ministry

By Innocent Habonimana

OAG, ACJB and Cordaid team up to advocate the increase of the budget allotted to the Ministry of Justice. Basing their conclusion on the analysis of the 2016 budget, the NGOs say low budget has a negative impact on the access to justice for all.

After an analysis that has shown the insufficiency of the budget of the Justice Ministry with repercussions on the access to justice for all, three NGOs advocate increasing the budget.

Michel Masabo, a consultant who carried out the analysis of the budget of 2016, says “there are some budget lines showing the government’s preoccupation of people’s needs for justice”, but “the effort remains insufficient”.

As a consequence, judges are hindered to carry out their duty as they should. Godefroid Manirambona, the Chairman of Observatory of Government’s Action (OAG) says, with the increase of the budget, “judges will have means that will allow them to adequately satisfy the needs of citizens seeking justice”.

OAG, a local NGO that sees that the government is fulfilling its promises, collaborated with the Association of Burundi Catholic Lawyers (ACJB) and Cordaid on the “Analysis of the Budget of the Ministry of Justice for 2016”.

The activity is within the framework of their programme called “Strategic Partnership in Lobbying and Advocacy for the Access to Justice for All”.

The study highlighted the lack of enough qualified judges and the slow course of justice as consequences of the low budget.

For instance, Bujumbura Court of Appeal, that has the highest average of sentence execution, treated a monthly average of 99.6 cases but executed only 10.7.

The Courts of Appeal of Bururi and Ngozi provinces treated respective monthly averages of 33.5 and 72.66 but executed none.

In some cases, the lack of means of transport hinders the execution of judgments. This may cause judges to make parties involved in legal cases pay for the transport which can result in corruption.

In regard to protecting judges from being influenced, Masabo says, “one way to prevent them from being corrupted is to raise their pay”.

Burundi

African ‘Beyonce’ Thrills Online Audience – VIDEO

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393 Large Scale Industries Established Under Magufuli

Photo: The Citizen

President John Magufuli at the processing factory in the outskirts of Dar es Salaam.

By Athuman Mtulya

Dodoma — Over 390 large scale industries with a capital flow of $2.3 billion (Sh5.1 trillion) have been established since the fifth phase government assumed office, the Parliament was told on Wednesday.

Presenting his budget speech in the Parliament, the Minister for Industries, Trade and Investment, Mr Charles Mwijage, said the industries had created over 38,860 employment opportunities to Tanzanians.

The minister revealed that Tanzania Investment Center registered 242 new investment projects in a period between July 2016 and March 2017 worth $2 million.

“Out of 242 projects,170 are industries, and 17,385 jobs are expected to be created,” the minister told the Parliament.

The minister also revealed that a total of 1,843 small scale industries have been registered across the country in a period between July 2016 and March 2017.

The industrial sector, according to the minister, grew by 7.8% in 2016 compared to 6.5% in 2015. The sector also contributed 5.1 per cent to the GDP in 2016 compared to 5.2 per cent in 2015.

The minister asked the Parliament to approve Sh122 billion for his office in the 2017/18 financial year.

According to Mwijage, Sh42 billion is for recurrent expenditures and Sh80 billion will be used to implement development projects.

The minister reiterated that the government still believed that the private sector held a crucial role in propelling the growth of industries in the country.

Tanzania

States Split On Funding Mechanisms to Bail Out EAC

East African Community (EAC) partner states are divided on the proposed financing mechanisms to bail out the… Read more »

Targets for 2016/17 Budget May Not Be Achieved – NPA

Photo: Faiswal Kasirye/Daily Monitor

Finance Minister Matia Kasaija presents the Budget (file photo).

By Martin Luther Oketch

Kampala — With less than two months left to end this fiscal year, doubts are simmering up that the targets for the Financial Year (FY) 2016/17 budget may not be achieved.

Why? A series of factors colluded to explain why government did not stick to its intended expenditure plan.

Constraints such as from low domestic tax collection, slowdown in economic growth and poor implementation of projects among others, have derailed the overall performance of the national budget.

Information from the ministry of Finance shows that the economy during the current fiscal year which ends on June 30, has also been affected by the global economic slowdown.

In an interview with Prosper magazine last week, director Development Planning, at the National Planning Authority, Dr Partick Birungi, said the 2016/17 budget has been performing poorly based on an analysis of the first quarters of the FY 2016/17.

“The target for the financial year 2016/17 budget in the first two quarters was at 58 per cent which is generally low,” he said.

Dr Birungi said although the authority has not done the analysis for quarter three and four, there are signs that the budget target may not be achieved.

Expounding on why the target is being missed, Dr Birungi said there were three main factors including: slowdown in economic growth rate, unutilised funds due to weak implementation of projects as planned and budgeted for and lack of planning at the sectoral levels and the Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

“All these constraints have impacted negatively on the 2016/17 budget; slower growth in the economy has affected revenue collection, weak implementation has affected projects in education and health because there are activities for the planned funds. This is why there is sloppiness in budget target for the FY 2016/17,” he explained.

The growth projection for this Financial Year 2016/17 was revised downwards to 4.5 per cent from the 5.5 per cent when the budget was approved in June 2016. This was pegged on developments in the global economy and domestic factors.

Locally, the drought experienced across the country that affected agricultural production during the first half of the Financial Year 2016/17 also negatively impacted economic growth.

“Government’s consumption and investment programme for the first half of the Financial Year 2016/17 was largely under executed with only a 70 per cent performance against the programme levels and thus lower by over Shs3 trillion. This was due to poor performance on external development expenditure.”

Data from the Finance ministry shows that tax revenues for the same period registered a shortfall of Shs170 billion largely from underperformance in international taxes as a result of declining imports,” the Finance ministry said.

The managing director of Alpha Capital, Mr Stephen Kaboyo, in an interview with Prosper magazine on last week said 2016/17 fiscal year has not been ‘a walk in the park.’ Therefore, it comes as no surprise that a number of economic targets will not be met.

“Key among them is the revenue target. As of March 2017, URA indicated a shortfall of Shs240 billion, mainly in the domestic taxes category which is a reflection of subdued economic activity.

Mr Kaboyo said this persistent revenue underperformance has an impact on the budget outturn as the imbalance between revenues and expenditure will leave some budgeted items unfunded, a scenario that will force government to borrow from the domestic banking system, crowding out private sector and putting pressure on interest rates.

“It is very likely that during this last quarter of the fiscal year, government will be aggressively borrowing in the markets to fulfill their outstanding financing requirements,” he said.

Fiscal overview

The fiscal strategy for the Financial Year 2016/17 was focused on maintaining infrastructure investment, while being mindful of a sustainable level of public debt over the medium term and promoting excellence in public service delivery. Subsequently, government pursued an expansionary fiscal stance with the deficit increasing to 6.6 per cent of GDP in the Financial Year 16/17 compared to 4.8 per cent of GDP in the Financial Year 15/16.

The ministry said this was meant to enable government accommodate growing expenditure needs especially the scaling-up of public infrastructure investment.

Fiscal deficit

The overall fiscal deficit (including grants) for the first half of Financial Year 2016/17 stood at Shs1.82 trillion. This was lower than the programmed Shs4.502 trillion as total expenditure and net lending was below the programme by Shs3.455 trillion.

“Revenue and grants also registered a short fall of Shs773.3 billion from the programme as less than programmed project grants were received for the period,” said the ministry in the report.

Shortfalls in tax collections

The ministry said revenues and Grants Tax collections during the first half of the financial year posted a shortfall of Shs170.1 billion. This was largely manifested in taxes on international trade and transactions which performed at 92.7 per cent; and in direct domestic taxes which performed at 98.5 per cent from their respective programmes.

The shortfalls in direct taxes were realised in corporate taxes and withholding taxes as major corporate companies registered low profits during the period.

The performance of international trade taxes is attributed to a drop in imports which negatively impacted on import duty, excise duty and VAT on imports. The shortfalls in direct taxes were realised in corporate taxes and withholding taxes as major corporate companies registered low profits during the period.

On the upside, it said PAYE performed higher than the target and the outturn of the first half of the Financial Year 2015/16 by 12 per cent and 6 per cent respectively, largely due to increased compliance especially in the Public sector.

Indirect taxes were above their target in the first half with a surplus in VAT on locally produced goods. Local excise duty, taxes on other sub-sectors and services sector were below their targets.

Other reasons why budget missed targets

Poor utilisation of funds due to weak
implementation of projects as planned
Slowed economic growth.
Supplementary provisions for food
relief in light of the food shortages

New funding

Under performance in expenditure was concentrated in development spending which was lower than the amount programmed by Shs1.697 billion. This presents a downside risk to the projected growth for FY 2016/17 which should have been supported by government spending on infrastructure development.

Rayon Sports Versus Mukura Game Moved to Wednesday

By Peter Kamasa

The re-arranged Azam Rwanda Premier League match between Rayon Sports and Mukura Victory Sports will be played Wednesday at Stade de Kigali, according to the Rwandan football ruling body, FERWAFA.

It took hours-long discussions between four parties, FERWAFA, Rayon Sports, Mukura and league sponsors, Azam Rwanda, to agree on the new date.

A meeting held on Friday, led by FERWAFA vice president Vedaste Kayiranga, agreed to have the match played on Wednesday.

“It took us some hours to take the decision and we believe that no one will be complaining. We made a good decision for everyone,” said Kayiranga.

FERWAFA put the game on hold following Rayon Sports’ engagement in CAF Confederation Cup competition in April.

Kayiranga added that, “We don’t want to postpone games as we want to finish the season on time so we have brought some games in middle of week and it will be suitable for the teams.”

Wednesday

Rayon Sports vs Mukura

Thursday

AS Kigali vs APR FC

Friday

Marines vs Etincelles

Sunrise FC vs Police FC

Kirehe FC vs Bugesera

Musanze vs Amagaju

Saturday

Espoir vs SC Kiyovu

Pepiniere vs Rayon Sports

Mukura vs Gicumbi FC

Rwanda

Govt Calls for Study on Whether Kivu Gas Can Be Used for Cooking

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on National Budget and Patrimony has tasked the Ministry of Infrastructure… Read more »

Rwanda: Govt Calls for Study on Whether Kivu Gas Can Be Used for Cooking

By Emmanuel Ntirenganya

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on National Budget and Patrimony has tasked the Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA) to carry out of a study to establish whether the methane gas in Kivu Lake can be used for cooking.

The MPs said that since the government has made use-of-gas-for-cooking a priority among Rwandan households and restaurants, and given that the gas being used in Rwanda for the purpose is imported, it would reduce the country’s import bill if Rwandans used gas from Lake Kivu.

Presently, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), imported from countries like Kenya and Tanzania, is being used for cooking in Rwanda.

“I think it can be more affordable,” Committee Chairperson MP Constance Rwaka Mukayuhi said. She was speaking during a committee session that examined MININFRA proposed budget for next fiscal year.

Energy Development Corporation Limited (EDCL) managing director Emmanuel Kamanzi said that the idea is laudable, noting that “we are in negotiations with investors to see how we can try to extract and bottle the gas.”

“Until now, the technologies available show us that the gas can be packed, but the challenge for us is that it requires to be packed in huge containers because it cannot be compressed,” he said.

“That is the only remaining difficulty, but we are mulling over feasibility studies like for setting up pipelines that can extract it for supply in cities,” he said.

The State Minister for Transport, Dr Alexis Nzahabwanimana, said they will look into the matter.

In 2012, the Government waived tax on imported gas, reducing the cost of a kilogramme of the gas from between Rwf1,300 and Rwf1,600 to between Rwf800 and Rwf1,000 currently.

The development, according to Rwanda Energy Group (REG), was in line with the government’s policy to gradually reduce the reliance on firewood and charcoal as fuels.

The companies importing LPG into Rwanda have a storage capacity of 80,000 cubic meters (or 80,000,000 litres), according to figures from REG. The companies include SP, SULFO, HASHI ENERGY, ABBARCI GAS, SAFE GAS, MEREZ, OXYGEN, ENGEN and KOBIL.

However, REG said that no studies have yet been done to ascertain demand for LPG countrywide.

Meanwhile, Dr Nzahabwanimana said that MININFRA wants that regulation be ensured in the sale of LPG already in use in the country to address the impact of price fluctuations.

“We want to stabilise the prices through regulations and interventions,” he said.

According to the 2013/14 Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey (EICV4), 83.3% of Rwandan households use firewood and charcoal as cooking fuel, yet under Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II), fuel wood consumption is expected to reduce to 50% by 2018.

The remaining 50 per cent of Rwandans will be using gas, biogas or improved cook stoves that are energy-efficient, according to REG.

Currently, less than 1 per cent of Rwandan households use cooking gas, REG says.

Cooking gas is efficient as it saves about half of the cost that would be spent on charcoal.

About Kivu Lake gas

Lake Kivu has three types of gas identified so far, namely Carbon Dioxide, Methane and Hydrogen Sulphide. Information from REG suggest that all these gases can have fatal effects if emitted or released in large quantities.

The lake is estimated to contain 300 billion cubic meters of carbon dioxide and 60 billion cubic meters of methane gas – shared equally between Rwanda and the DRC. The quantity of methane available in Lake Kivu is believed to be sufficient to supply 700 megawatts of electricity for over 55 years.

Government Spends Shs470 Million to Treat Mbabazi’s Wife

Photo: Abubaker Lubowa/Daily Monitor

Back home. Amama Mbabazi and his wife Jacqueline Mbabazi at their home in Kololo, Kampala upon arrival from United Kingdom in 2015.

By Ibrahim a Manzil

Kampala — Government is footing medical expenses incurred by Ms Jacqueline Mbabazi, the wife of former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, to the tune of Shs471 million.

Details of the expenditure, a copy of which Saturday Monitor has seen, was made through the Ministry of Public Service as indicated in a May 3 letter by Privatisation minister Evelyn Anite to Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga.

Ms Mbabazi, who was taken seriously ill for most of the three months of campaigns for the February 2016 presidential election, was admitted and received treatment in London, United Kingdom.

Ms Mbabazi was pivotal in drumming up support for her husband’s presidential bid for most of 2015. This resulted in her expulsion from the NRM Women’s League leadership.

The illness forced Ms Mababazi off the campaign trail in which her husband stood as an Independent candidate after a bitter disagreement on nomination procedures with President Museveni and the NRM party top ranks to which both principles belonged.

Mr Mbabazi’s declaration was followed by a strong response from President Museveni who dubbed it “bad conduct and premature” by a confidant. However, Mr Mbabazi’s bid won backing from The Democratic Alliance (TDA), a loose convergence of minor opposition political parties.

How it was passed

Ms Mbabazi’s medical bills were catered for under the Supplementary Expenditure totalling Shs10.23 billion, which Ms Anite communicated to Ms Kadaga for retrospective approval.

The communication came by through an addendum to a March 3 letter written by Mr Keith Muhakanizi, the Secretary to Treasury.

Mr Muhakanizi wrote to ask for retrospective approval of a Supplementary Expenditure totalling Shs523.9 billion, which is within the 3 per cent of the total approved Budget as required by the Public Finance Management Act (Amended) 2015, beyond which prior approval must be sought from Parliament.

Mr Muhakanizi’s letter partly reads: “Shs523.9 billion has been authorised by the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development as supplementary funding under schedule 2 Financial Year 2016-2017,” adding that “a Shs212 billion supplementary has been submitted to Parliament for prior approval.”

Ms Anite’s letter, which acknowledges that of Mr Muhakanizi, adds: “In line with the above submission (Mr Muhakanizi’s letter), additional Shs10.233 billion, which is 0.04 per cent of the approved Budget, has been authorised and this increases the total supplementary to 3 per cent of the approved Budget.”

“The institutions/votes benefitting from the additional supplementary expenditure include vote 005-Ministry of Public Service, Shs471 million as medical treatment of wife to former prime minister,” Ms Anite’s letter reads in part.

Public Service State Minister David Karubanga confirmed the payment, tasking Saturday Monitor to “go to the accounting officer if you want all the details.”

Sources close to State House intimated to Saturday Monitor that President Museveni convened a meeting attended by ministers David Bahati (Planning) and Ms Anite, together with Mr Muhakanizi.

In the meeting, which was not attended by Finance minister Matia Kasaija, sources say the President personally asked Ms Anite to take charge of the matter, fondly referring to her as “my daughter.”

In her letter, Ms Anite signed off as “Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development (Investment and Privatization), also holding the portfolio of Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.”

Speaking to Saturday Monitor, Ms Mbabazi confirmed the payment, saying it is her entitlement as wife of a former prime minister.

Mr Mababazi served as prime minister from May 24, 2011 to September 19, 2014.

“You know I have been very sick; extremely sick and I am entitled to medical treatment. I think it was during the referrals (that payments were made),” she said.

“I have improved a lot and I continue to go for a routine check-up after [every] six months,” Ms Mbabazi told Saturday Monitor, adding “that’s all I can say for now.”

Account

Anite told Saturday Monitor that the expenses were paid pursuant to the Emoluments of the President, Vice President and Prime Minister Act, 2010.

“You know we enacted a law on the benefits of the previous leaders, so it (payment) was lawful,” said Ms Anite, without elaborating further.

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