Finance Ministry Releases UPE Funds

Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka

Matia Kasaija, the Finance state minister
Matia Kasaija, the Finance state minister

Uganda’s State minister for Planning Matia Kasaija has told parliament that funds for Universal Primary Education (UPE) schools have been released about three weeks to the end of the term.

The matter has been a centre of disagreement for two weeks now with Members of Parliament demanding that the ministry of finance explains why schools have not received the funds for academic second term.

Kasaija said that the funds were released on the 11th of July and assured parliament that all school accounts must be credited by now.

The minister explained that the delay is as a result of the policy on harmonisation of releases which was introduced to eliminate delays. He said that the new policy requires that the funds should be released in January for first term, April for Second term and August for third term, which he said has caused shortfall of funds released in July to cater for this term.

Kasaija proposed that the matter be referred to a relevant committee of parliament for further discussion and harmonisation. But MPs accused government of poor planning saying it should have put that into consideration before making the children go through a whole term without basics.

Kalungu West MP Joseph Sewungu asked how Ugandans will get value for money if schools will be getting money at the end of the term. He said that the minister was not honest in his statement because money has always delayed even before the changes.

Serere district woman MP Alice Alaso expressed disappointment and said that government owed the people of Uganda an apology for releasing school funds weeks to the end of the term.

Some members suggested that a select committee be instituted to look into the matter but Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah declined saying that parliament isn’t going to form a select committee for each and every issue. He said that since the house will be going into budget, there will be no time to debate the report of a select committee until around October.

He suggested that since it is a budget issue, the budget committee should add it to the matters it is dealing with now and include it in the report for debate.

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