NRM Caucus Tasks Kiwanuka To Clarify On Acquired Govt Loans

Uganda's Finance Minister, Maria Kiwanuka

Uganda’s ruling party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Caucus on Monday evening tasked the country’s Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka to make clarifications on the floor of Parliament on queries raised by the Auditor General that loans amounting to 1.3 trillion were acquired prior to parliamentary approval.

Uganda's Finance Minister, Maria Kiwanuka
Uganda’s Finance Minister, Maria Kiwanuka

The acquired loans without approval by parliament prompted the Finance and Planning committee of Parliament to recommend that no other loan should be approved by the House without a clear explanation and clarity being provided for the actions by the finance ministry.

The Audit General noted that these loans acquired prior to parliamentary approval pose a great risk to the country in regard to commitment fees in the loans.

The Finance Minister is today expected to make a statement on the floor of Parliament clarifying on the 9 loans acquired without parliament’s approval so that other pending loans can receive approval by the House.

The finance ministry is also set to present and request borrowing of more loans from Parliament tomorrow.

For the last one week, Parliament’s National Economy Committee has been conducting hearings from the finance ministry, Attorney General’s office, Solicitor General and Auditor General regarding the 1.3trillion loans borrowed without parliament’s approval.

The hearings by the committee are still on-going to ascertain why the loans were acquired without approval of Parliament and how the problem can be solved.

The committee is also set to meet the Attorney General’s office and the Solicitor General to explain circumstances of acquired loans that the Auditor says were okayed by both offices without parliament’s approval.

The audit report notes that this is in contravention of article 159 and 119 of the constitution and section 20 of the public finance and accountability act which state that only parliament can sanction borrowing.

The report stated that the Solicitor General and the Attorney General’s office which are supposed to ensure strict adherence to the law participated in clearing these loans.

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