KAMPALA: Despite the increase in the total national budget of 2017/18 financial year to slightly more than 29 trillion, the trickle-up effect has not been reflected in the budget allocated to the 18 institutions that form the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS).
According to the national Budget frame work paper 2017/18, the 18 institutions that form the JLOS, have been allocated Shs1.119 trillion, which translates to 5.1 per cent of the total national Budget.
In comparison to the previous financial year of 2016/17, JLOS had a 5.4 per cent allocation of the total budget, though the actual money was slightly lower than that allocated to this year’s budget.
JLOS is a sector-wide approach adopted by government to bring together institutions with closely linked mandates of administering justice and maintaining law and order and human rights, into developing a common vision, policy framework, unified on objectives and plan over the medium term.
These institutions include the Justice ministry, Judiciary, Internal Affairs ministry, Police, Prisons, Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Judicial Service Commission, Law Development Centre (LDC), Local Government ministry, Labour ministry and Uganda Law Reform Commission.
Others include Uganda Law Society, Uganda Human Rights Commission, Tax Appeals Tribunal, Centre for Arbitration and Dispute Resolution and the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB).
Ms Racheal Odoi Musoke, the JLOS senior technical advisor, said there are areas that they would have loved to be fully funded to achieve the strategic goals.
Salaries take lion’s share
She explained that the bigger part of the money allocated to the sector will go into paying salaries of staff.
The Uganda Law Society president, Mr Francis Gimara, argued that there is no way one can invest when the security situation is not stable, before calling for more funding to JLOS institutions such as police and Judiciary.
“The Ugandan economy has been struggling and when it comes to spending, we should spend on those sectors that bring in money such as tourism,” Mr Gimara said.
He added: “Support to JLOS institutions must be increased to harness the investment in the country. If we want to attract more tourists and investors, the police should be well-funded to be able to effectively keep law and order in the country and also the Judiciary should be well-funded to be able to quickly dispose of cases filed by investors,”
At the tail end of his take, the law society president proposed that in the subsequent budgets, the Judiciary should have a standalone budget just like the other two arms of government (the Executive and the Legislator), a bid he said is to have respect for separation of powers.
Apparently, the Judiciary budget is catered for under JLOS.