State House has Shs74 billion to donate

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Kampala- State House will have Shs74.791 billion to donate next financial year, according to State Comptroller Lucy Nakyobe Mbonye.

Of that, State House will spend Shs20 billion on school fees for 3, 000 students. Up to 65 students who will benefit are studying in universities abroad.

About 2, 116 students are studying in universities in Uganda whereas 707 are in local secondary schools. Eighty–five are pupils in primary schools in Uganda.

“This is, therefore, to seek your indulgence on this matter,” Ms Lucy Nakyobe Mbonye, says in a May 24 letter to the chairperson of the House Committee on Presidential Affairs, Mr Fred Mwesigye. “State House needs the entire Shs20 billion for the next financial year to cater for this [school fees] expenditure.”

Attempts to reach Mr Mwesigye failed.

With State House only saying what it will spend Shs20 billion on, it is probable Mr Museveni will spend the balance of Shs54.7 billion as he pleases.

The balance of Sh54 billion can cater for the lunch allowances of 43, 777 doctors for eighteen months – going by the current rate of Shs66, 000 for each per month.

In the past, Mr Museveni has given out money to youth groups, car washers and even National Resistance Movement (NRM) members of Parliament.

However,  if is to buy support, then, bearing in mind the drop in the percentage of the votes he has been getting, perhaps some of the people he gives the money may not be returning the favour.

Though not speaking to the matter of Mr Museveni’s donations, the Alliance for Campaign Financing (ACFIM) in 2016 released a report saying some political candidates ‘hide behind the cover of livelihood improvement initiative to donate cash items including saucepans, hoes and seeds to voters’.

“ACFIM monitors have observed…where candidates have offered cash to women and youth groups to start up sustainable income generating projects…” the report noted. “Overall, incumbent President Yoweri Museveni is leads that charts for cash donations.”

In the past, State House would have up to Shs80 billion to donate; meaning the purse has shrunk by close to Shs6 billion.

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