Beti Olive Kamya-Turwomwe
Am Iodine excited about the increased budget from Shs3.7 trillion last twelvemonth to Shs5.8 trillion this fiscal year? Well, is Uganda's job deficiency of money or its management? I cognize of low people, living modest lives who, with their low incomes have got got built their ain homes, baptised, confirmed, educated and married off their children, buried their dead, nursed their ill and generally done everything that an ordinary Ugandan makes - and have no debts.
I also cognize of "rich" people who dwell grandly and extravagantly but don't ain a home, are perpetually in debt and should catastrophe bechance them, their households would necessitate support for the month's rent never mind arrears. Ugandans believe "more money..." always works out jobs and so we always shout "more money for agriculture, health, education...".
Dr Suruma's 2008/9 budget looks to state "there now, I have got got set in the budget all the money you ever wanted, let's see what else you'll say...." and I say, without focusing on improving direction of the funds, they will be squandered the same manner former budgets have been squandered.
Wasn't Shs256 billion for Chogm a batch of money? What make we have got to demo for it but potholed roads, useless-overpriced vehicles, empty hotel suite and a corruptness dirt in Parliament?
Wasn't $11million adequate for the AGOA project? What make we have got got to demo for it except vandalised Coffee Selling Board premises and 1,000 no-longer employed, most-likely-no-longer-virgin "AGOA girls".
What about all the money that should have been received out of the sale of our industries, where is it, what did it do? Wasn't Shs600 million Entandikwa scheme, where billions of Ugandan shillings were given to protagonists of President Museveni to make concern good money?
Are they better off than non protagonists who did not acquire it? What is there to demo for it? Weren't millions of Ugandan shillings spent to import drugs for Aids patients? Now I hear National Drug Authority or National
Medical Stores demand Shs800 million to destruct the expired drugs!
As Ugandans know, the listing of wastage, loot and loss of public resources through corruption, inefficiency and incompetency is endless.
No substance how large and impressive Dr Suruma's budget maybe, unless Ugandans can turn to its direction by being able to name on the directors of public resources to account to them, it will stay one useless budget address after another, except for the corrupt functionaries who have got entree to the funds.
What is to halt the newly budgeted finances finding their manner unit of ammunition the Disposal and Procurement of Populace Asset (DPPA) ordinances just like the Shs2.9 billion paid to Capital Of Uganda Associated Advocates to prosecute Dr Besigye did, just like the Shs20 billion paid to Basajjabalaba, or like the Chogm vehicles money did?
Everybody who's been around long adequate cognizes that it is already clip to set up for the adjacent election and that a batch of money will happen its manner to election- related activities, just like millions of Ugandan shillings establish their manner out of microfinance finances in the 2005/6 budget to carefully selected women's Nigina groupings under the supervising of former vice-president Specioza Wandera Kazibwe.
Oh! Hon. Jim Muhwezi did intimation too, that a batch of Global Fund money establish its manner to carefully selected activities targeting the 2006 election campaigns. I will not be surprised if there is increased "training" at Kyankwanzi and Masindi; if there are many people dressed in military wear - that being the Kyankwanzi graduation gown; and if there are more than kibokos and kanyamas squads around town, participating in "enforcing law and order"
Big budgets are good but only if they offer value for money.
I am certain Republic Of Uganda will ably pass the close dual 2008/9 budget and even necessitate supplementary funding. I am equally certain that most of the money will be squandered because the prodigals are still around, with the same motivation, style, supervising and self-assurance of impunity as have been all these years.
The old English proverb that if you look after the pennies, the lbs will look after themselves, is as true as ever, Dr Suruma.
Ms Kamya is military policeman Rubaga North