Kampala, Uganda: Parliament has been asked by the Office of the President to ensure that all the funds to a tune of Shs5.1bn for the purchase of vehicles for the presidential advisors is availed so as to enable them execute their duties.
This followed a request made by Jim Muhwezi, Minister of Security while leading the team from Office of President to present the 2023/2024 National Budget Framework Paper before Parliament’s Presidential Affairs Committee.
Minister Muhwezi remarked, “The President appointed 139 Presidential Advisors. This necessitated that the Office of President provides an enabling environment to enable them deliver on their mandates. As such, Shs8.3Bn was the requirement for their facilitation. However, only Shs3.2Bn has been provided for rent of their offices and allowances leaving a funding gap of Shs5.1Bn to enable purchase of their vehicles.”
However, Abubaker Kawalya (Rubaga North) asked the Office of Presidency to explain the increasing number of presidential advisers and what contribution they have on the nation.
“There is a lot of money being invested in these presidential advisers, I would like to get clarification on these increasing numbers and some of the things they work on because for the case of Kampala, I have never seen any presidential advisor working,” said Kawalya.
The Office of the President is also seeking Shs7bn for the construction of new offices for Resident District Commissioners because the current rent has become unbelievable necessitating the acquisition of their own office space.
The Minister said, “The Office of the President has deployed a total of 146 RDCs of which, 107 are renting. Government constructs one office accommodation each year that implies that it would take Office of President 110years to construct for all RDCs. However the rental fees being charged for office accommodation are increasing and has become unsustainable. we appeal to the Committee to provide Shs7bn to enable Government construct at least ten houses per year such that in 10years, the issue of office accommodation becomes history.”
Government is also seeking another Shs7.9bn to construct accommodation facilities at the National Leadership Training Institute in Kyankwanzi and the proposal was backed by some male MPs like Benjamin Kamukama (Ruhaama east) who cited the deplorable facilities in the male side of the Institute, saying this has left the men craving to share facilities with women.