A request by the Ministry of Finance to spend Shs1.8Bn on the burial of former Speaker Oulanyah has been approved by Parliament.
Amos Lugoloobi, State Minister for Planning took to the floor of Parliament seeking approval of lawmakers to make a statutory revision of the Parliamentary Commission budget to provide funds for the burial of Oulanyah who passed on 20th March 2022 in Seattle-USA where he had been rushed for treatment over undisclosed disease.
Responding to questions on whether the latest figure Shs1.8Bn includes the Shs2.5Bn budget that is making rounds in the media, Lugoloobi said the first figure leaked by the media was a working figure.
He said: “What I saw, probably they leaked information that wasn’t official, because when we are dealing with numbers, these numbers keep changing until we come up with the final figures. It is possible the journalist leaked figures that weren’t final.”
The Minister however didn’t provide a breakdown of how the Shs1.8Bn will be spent in funeral arrangements, arguing that the figure is subject to further scrutiny before a final figure will be agreed upon.
“And even these ones we have presented here are working figures of the budget within which the entire process will be conducted, it is possible that certain items may fall out and get to the level where the budget is reduced further. The thinner details would have been worked out,” said Lugoloobi.
The Minister also defended the money being spent on the burial of the former Speaker saying the deceased was third in hierarchy in national order of precedence, “To say it is much is subjective because we have tried to look at the thinner details given the person we are talking about.”
However, Muwanga Kivumbi protested the manner in which the burial budget for Oulanyah was approved by Parliament pointing out that there was no question put by Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa, and the process flouted the constitution and regulations of the Public Finance Management Act 2015.
Muwanga said, “The matter is so touching because it concerns the burial of the speaker, but the worry I know and his strict adherence to the rule of law, he would be strongly hurt that burial expenses can be done in a kangaroo style. It is emotive but even under those circumstances, legislators can’t be terrified to do the right thing. What is being done here is fraud.”
Muwanga was castigated for sending off Oulanyah in an indecent and fraudulent way remarking, “I have looked at details they are obnoxious. Oulanyah used to insist on doing everything illegally to bury him with money that hasn’t been approved illegally. If he was alive it would have hurt him. I don’t know why the government chose to do things this way, there were better ways to handle these matters.”
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