KAMPALA, UGANDA: Parliament has approved and passed a supplementary budget of 292 Billion Shillings.
The approved 18.5 billion Shillings for Covid-19 vaccines is an advance payment for the 18 million doses of AstraZeneca for government to start the vaccination of 9 million vulnerable Ugandans.
Also approved by Parliament is 31 billion Shillings for purchase of more face masks by the Ministry of Health, 28 billion for purchase of ambulances, 43 billion for the Electoral Commission to clear debt for the Biometric Voter Verification machines used in the recently concluded general election.
On Tuesday, Parliament deferred its clearance of the funds following a disagreement by MPs in regards to a 12.1 Billion Shillings request under the Uganda Land Commission -ULC to settle outstanding compensation under the Land Fund to 6 beneficiaries.
The contention followed a letter by the chairperson ULC, Beatrice Byenkya Nyakaisiki who raised a red flag on the approval of funds saying that her Commission was not privy to the list.
However Patrick Isiagi, Parliament’s Budget Committee vice chairperson on Thursday reported that the stand-off between Ministry of Lands and the ULC had been resolved and list of beneficiaries for compensation acknowledged.
Isiagi recommended that parliament approves the funds and despite resistance from a section of MPs led by Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal, the funds got a nod from parliament.
Some of the beneficiaries on the list include Kasiya Rwabukurukuru with land at Kiyunga, Sheema (6.43 billion), Stephen Peter Nagenda of Kibale, Rwanswa (1.06 billion) and Julius Busuulwa of Buyaga in Kibaale (1.4 billion). Others are Natalia Namuli (1.6 billion), Yisaka Lwakana (125.3 million) and Mugisha Geoffrey (1.49 billion), all with land at Buyaga, Kibaale.
Besides the land compensation, Parliament also approved 10.4 billion Shillings for Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) as additional costs to conduct national exams during the Covid-19 pandemic, 7.6 billion compensation to Dodoviko Mwanje and Medard Kiconco who will each get 3.8 billion.
The two are being compensated by the government for their land in Ndeeba on which St. Peters Church of Uganda (CoU) sits and Lusanja, Mperewe where hundreds of families were evicted respectively.
Under State House, Parliament approved a request for 2.27 billion Shillings to cater for the Anti-Tick Vaccine Development Initiative and establishment of Ngoma Field Tick Farm, Laboratory Restructuring, expression and production of proteins, equipment and personnel expenses among others.
The Uganda Cancer Institute also gets 1.28 Billion Shillings to cater for outstanding payment to Ms Roko Construction Limited for pending certificate arrears, 600 million for Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Covid-19 activities, 1.45 billion for Mandela National Stadium to meet staff, administrative and operational costs and others.
The approval of this 292 billion supplementary budget for the financial year 2020/2021 comes after earlier supplementary approvals by Parliament worth 4.224 trillion Shillings mainly towards the Covid-19 pandemic response between Oct 1st, 2020 and November 18th, 2020.