Uganda’s security budget will increase for the next three years, according to the Ministry of Finance.
This is already reflected in the Shs. 41.3 trillion budget the government has tabled for financial the year 2021/2022 in which Governance and Security takes a lion share of 7.7 trillion Ugandan Shillings.
This is followed by Human capital development especially in the Education and Health that has proposed figures of Shs. 6.8 trillion, Integrated transport infrastructure at Shs. 3.9 trillion, Agro-industrialization 1.4 trillion and Regional Development Shs. 1.2trillion and Development plan implementation Shs.1 trillion.
Although members of Parliament have raised concern over a high percentage spending on security from the total revenue collection, the Minister of Finance says that this money will increase for only three more financial years of 2021/2022, 2022/2023 and 2023/2024 before it stabilizes.
While appearing before the budget committee of Parliament on Tuesday, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija and Minister of Finance in charge of Planning David Bahati explained that security was the anchor to all the other sectors and that is why the allocation is great.
However committee chairperson Amos Lugolobi said that the money allocated to security is not commensurate to the growth of the economy, adding that there was no evidence that the money being poured into security was indeed yielding. Lugolobi says that whereas security takes a lion’s share, what the same security seems to protect is very narrow or limited, with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growing at only 4 per cent.
Matia Kasaija says that injecting a lot of money in security will give confidence to investors in Uganda. He says the increase in security budget is because Government intends to purchase or use the money for something that will be completed in the three years, and after three years it will stabilize.
Butambala MP Muwanga Kivumbi says that the defense budget has never gone down for the last 7 years. He says the increasing component of the defense budget has been on classified expenditure.
Minister for Finance in charge of planning David Bahati told the committee that Uganda needs to remain secure in the midst of a turbulent region. He says although MPs and ordinary Ugandans do not see the threats, security people see these threats.
Defense’s classified expenditure hit up to 2 trillion shillings’ in 2020 and this figure is expected to go even higher with the new budget. In the last financial year, security got Shs.4.5 trillion.
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