Parliament Committee on Budget yesterday threw out an extra Shs3.393 trillion that the government had allegedly smuggled to be jointly processed for approval with the Shs3.5 trillion supplementary budget.
The committee chaired by the Kachumbula County legislator, Mr Patrick Isiagi, had convened to scrutinise the Shs3.5 trillion supplementary budget that was on Thursday last week tabled before Parliament in a sitting chaired by Speaker Anita Among.
Lawmakers were displeased that whereas the State Minister for Finance in Charge of General Duties, Mr Henry Musasizi, had tabled a Shs3.5 trillion request, his submissions before the Budget Committee to, which Ms Among had referred the matter, contained an extra Shs3.393 trillion.
The MPs accused Mr Musasizi and the Director of budget at the Finance Ministry, Mr Ismael Magona, of presenting unclear figures.
The ‘‘mischief’’ was arrested by Mr Maxwell Ebong Patrick Akora (Maruzi County).
In his statement, Mr Musasizi said: “Members, in line with the above section of the law, I laid before Parliament, supplementary expenditure under schedule Number 1 Financial Year 2023/2024 amounting to Shs3.500 trillion.”
“In addition, my ministry has issued statutory revisions amounting to Shs3.393 trillion,”he added.
But Mr Akora interjected saying: “To me, the minister is not being clear because according to Mr Magona’s explanation,the total supplementary request that they are presenting to this committee is Shs3.5 trillion plus Shs3.393 trillion which amounts to about Shs7.2 trillion,”Mr Akora said.
“So why don’t you be clear so that we understand this once and for all?” Mr Akora wondered.
His sentiments were shared by Buliisa Woman MP Norah Bigirwa-Nyendwoha who was openly bitter that the government had attempted to hoodwink the committee into processing documents different from what was tabled before Parliament.
“It does not make any sense for us as Members of Parliament, chairpersons of different committees who are aware that we came here for Shs3.5 trillion supplementary budget and then you come with different figures,” Ms Bigirwa-Nyendwoha said.