Cultural, Religious Leaders Strain Our Budget – State House Top story

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In short
Alex Byarugaba, the Isingiro South MP, claimed that some of the religious leaders get more State House support compared to others.

The State House Comptroller, Lucy Nakyobe has listed key areas that strain the state house budget. They include support to cultural and religious leaders, sports and state burials especially of former legislators among others.

While appearing before the Public Accounts Committee this morning to respond to Audit queries, Nakyobe noted that State House is unique in nature, saying that even with sufficient planning, several issues come up that require intervention.

She explained that although some of the issues such as sports fell under specific Ministries, they too run to state house for help.

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She also claimed that cultural leaders run to State House with most of their problems, saying they monthly allocation of Shillings 5 million under the Gender Ministry in insufficient. She however failed to cite specific examples when tasked by the PAC Chairperson, Angeline Osegge.

Nakyobe instead explained that State House meets the accommodation expenses of some cultural leaders who stay in Kampala, provides them transport, upkeep and training among others.
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She also explained that the absence of a substantive Ministry that caters for religious institutions forces state house to address their concerns. However, some of the legislators wouldn't have any of this, saying the provision of vehicles for religious leaders falls under donations, which are provided for annually under the State House budget.

State House receives Shillings 80 billion towards donations.
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The Lwemiyaga County MP, Theodore Ssekikubo asked Nakyobe whether she isn't obliged to operate with the mandate of the State House Comptroller.

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But in her response, Nakyobe said her mandate is to facilitate the president at all times and that if the President wants to help somebody, it is her duty to make sure that the person is helped.

Jacqueline Amongin, the Ngora Woman MP and her Agago counterpart, Franca Akello tasked Nakyobe to explain the criteria used by cultural and religious leaders to access financial support from state house.

Alex Byarugaba, the Isingiro South MP, claimed that some of the religious leaders get more State House support compared to others. The Buliisa County MP, Moses Mukitale claimed that Buganda Kingdom gets Shillings 9 billion while Bunyoro Kingdom receives a paltry Shillings 200 million.

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However, the Committee Chairperson, Angelline Osegge ruled the MPs out of order. She directed Nakyobe to furnish the committee with a written response on the matters raised and the procedure used to support cultural and religious leaders.  
In his audit report of June 2014, the Auditor General John Muwanga noted outstanding commitments of Shillings 529 million utility bills with electricity taking a big chunk of Shillings 387. 8 million followed by water Shillings 119.7 million and Shillings 22.2 million for telephone.
In 2016/2017 financial year, state house received a budgetary allocation of Shillings 257 billion.  The Finance Ministry has budgeted Shillings 242 billion for state house in the next financial year.


About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.