By Spy Uganda
The Speaker of parliament Rt Hon Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga has ordered the Minister of Finance Hon. Matia Kasaija to appear before parliament to explain how he ended up reading the wrong budget, which is by far different from what parliament had passed last week.
The saga started when the Minister appeared before Parliament on Tuesday, where he read budgetary allocation figures which were totally different from the ones he had read during the National Budget Speech he read last week, something that raised the eyebrows of several legislators.
On realizing the anomaly, the chairman of the budget committee Amos Lugolobi told the august House that the Finance Minister was purely reading wrong budget estimate figures, which are far different from what parliament had allocated to the different sectors.
“The figures the Minister read are inconsistent with the ones that the Parliament approved” he said.
He noted that whereas Uganda Development Bank had been allocated Shs103Bn, the Minister read Shs1.45 trillion, Domestic arrears had been allocated Shs400Bn but the Minister read Shs673Bn, Social Assistance Grant rose from Shs66Bn to Shs107Bn, Export Promotions rose from Shs38.5Bn to Shs138Bn, Talent Support rose from Shs100Bn to Shs256Bn, among other adjusted figures.
The MPs insisted that many items were sneaked into the budget and the allocations were doubled, which requires the whole budget to be looked at again and or revised.
On agreeing with the MPs that the Minister had indeed read different figures, the Speaker said that “So the minister of Finance is required tomorrow here to explain the variations in the figures he read. The variation is between the figures he read here and the figures he read on the day of the budget.”
Following the impasse, some Members of Parliament, among them John Baptist Nambeshe, have since called upon the Minister for finance to apologize to Parliament, while others are calling for his censure.
Meanwhile, minister Kasaija on Thursday appeared before the parliament and ‘clarified’ that indeed he read different figures after world bank and IMF among other partners added Uganda more monies which were captured in the first budgetary allocations.
“Madam speaker, we received more support from our development partners after the first allocations were done, I felt it appropriate to adjust and include these figures to allocate these new monies we had got,” he said.