Masaka Locals Want Budget To Focus On Education, Health & Agric

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In short
Increasing funding for education, Health and Agriculture is dominating the wish-list for majority of residents in Masaka district. Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka presents the National Budget estimates for 2013/2014 before parliament today.

Increasing budget for education, Health and Agriculture is dominating the wish-list for majority of residents in Masaka district.

Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka presents the National Budget estimates for 2013/2014 before parliament today.
 
Last year, Kiwanuka presented a budget of 11.15 trillion shillings with education getting 1.669 trillion shillings. This represented 17 percent of the total envelope.

However, Masaka residents say although government pledged to enhance teachers’ salaries for 2012/2013 budget, this has not been achieved. Assumpta Nabukenya, a teacher at St Bruno Primary School, says although government had announced increasing teachers’ salaries, this never came to pass. She says they are still getting the old salaries which also delay.

Nabukenya says they want Government to increase teachers’ salaries to boost their morale.

Trinity Musoke, another teacher from Kyabagoma primary school in Bukomansimbi, says the current 270,000shilling government pays them is too little. He says this money cannot even enable him to pay fees for his own children.

Joseph Ssenzoga, a resident of Soweto in Masaka Municipality, says Government should slash State House Budget and increase teachers’ salaries. Ssenzoga also says government must check corruption in all its sectors to ensure that it saves money to increase salaries for teachers.

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Swaibu Suula Mbaaya, a rights activist says he wants government to adjust the salaries of health workers even further to boost their commitment. He claims that poor pay has left many health workers disgruntled and this forces them to neglect their duties.  According to Suula Mbaya, majority of midwives get less then 60,0000 shillings and this comes late.

According to him, poor pay is responsible for poor service at Masaka Regional referral Hospital.

Zuula Namusoke, a resident of Masaka Town says Uganda is a rich country but because of financial mismanagement huge sums of money meant to address many of such issues end up being stolen. She gives an example of the corruption scandal in the office of the Prime Minister in which up to 50 billion shillings were allegedly stolen. She says that just a billion shillings of the stolen money can go a long way in revamping a health centres like Kiyumba Health Centre III by paying salaries and putting up staff quarters.

Benon Mugarura, a farmer and businessman says he wants Government to give farmers incentives to improve quality of beef and milk before exporting to China. Mugarura, the owner of Zebra Hotel in Masaka, explains that although China cut taxes on imports from Uganda to 90%, they are still struggling to benefit from this because they export raw products without value added.

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