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MPs block Shs 90bn allocation to finance UPDF operation in DRC

The MPs blocked the budget allocation until they are briefed about the army presence in DRC

The MPs blocked the budget allocation until they are briefed about the army presence in DRC

Legislators sitting on the budget committee have resolved to halt the allocation of Shs 89.6 billion request by the ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs to finance the ongoing 'operation Shujja' in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

The ministry officials led by the minister of state for Defence, Jacob Oboth Oboth on Monday tabled the budget request before parliament’s defence and internal affairs committee to finance Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) operation against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels.

Oboth then said that the proposed budget would cover the cost of logistics, communication and welfare requirements for the operation, among others. He said that the budget is for only the anticipated 12 months’ operation.

The UPDF launched air and artillery raids against the ADF key bases in eastern DRC with the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) in November 2021. Before the operation in DRC, the government had accused ADF rebels of being behind a string of suicide bombings in Uganda.

Now, MPs says that the Shs 89 billion budgetary allocation be halted until the responsible officials address the House on the UPDF presence in DRC.

This position by MPs on the budget committee followed a presentation of a report by the defence and internal affairs committee chairperson, Rosemary Nyakikongolo on different security entities regarding the budget framework paper for the financial year 2022/2023.

Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the Kira Municipality MP questioned why government is seeking an appropriation for something they failed to brief parliament about. He proposed that the proposed allocation waits until parliament is appropriately addressed about the UPDF presence in DRC.

John Baptist Nambeshe, the opposition chief whip also shared the same sentiments, saying that parliament is entitled to get details of the DRC operation. Nsamba Oshabe, the Kassanda North MP insisted that parliament is briefed first before any debate and budget allocation towards the UPDF operation in DRC.

Patrick Isiagi, the budget committee chairperson also noted that they must have been briefed on the operation before any funding proposal is presented.

Speaking to journalists after appearing before the committee, Nyakikongolo said that the minister of Defence is ready to appear and provide details regarding 'operation Shujja'. She said that the operation is not benefiting anyone personally but the entire country.

Minister Oboth on Monday told journalists that they didn’t come to parliament first because it was strategic in the operation that they don’t give as much information as is required.

“Going to Congo, most people think we went under section 39 of the Constitution…that is not true, we went under Section 40 which does not require parliamentary approval, but we have to give parliament information and the delay is regrettable,” said Oboth.

He emphasized that the ministry leadership takes political responsibility for the delayed provision of information. Oboth however maintains that they had good reasons for the good of Ugandans.

Comments

+1 #1 kabayekka 2022-01-26 19:45
One understands that Uganda after a long economic paralyzing lockdown of two years and a very dodgy expensive and violent national election is right now paying shillings 250 million every day to chase political opponents in the deep forests of the Congo.

Uganda has a classified financial budget to aid the stubborn African governments of Sudan and Somalia so that they can keep the peace in their own countries. So then how much money is there left in the national treasury of this poor country to promote modern agricultural production? Indeed there is none.
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+1 #2 kabayekka 2022-01-26 20:15
But because the Parliament of Uganda is a yes institution of the military President of Uganda, there is no problem for the house to go into the consolidated account of this country to pick up such funds as requested by the army so that the Uganda Army can continue to play its lucrative role in policing the continent of Africa.
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+1 #3 Zaitun 2022-01-27 16:12
“Going to Congo, most people think we went under section 39 of the Constitution…that is not true, we went under Section 40 which does not require parliamentary approval, but we have to give parliament information and the delay is regrettable,” said Oboth.
Really?

Since Parliamentary approval was not necessary, then go a head without requests from the Parliament and no amount of tax payers' money should be involved in your war!

All you have been known for all around the world is nothing but wars- in RDC, in Centreal Africa, in Somalia, leave alone the millions killed in Uganda alone!

Why are you so interested in wars since you guys went to the bush? How many lives have been lost just bec ause you want to be known as prominent warriors?

Distructions, killings, rape of innocent girls and women has become your hobby. What a world we are living in!
You go out for wars of distruction and looting under the cover of looking for rebels. We know what you are!
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-2 #4 mwesigwa noah 2022-01-27 16:29
in my humble opinion, we should find a way to empower the Executive to by-pass the parliament, because most of these "mp.s" spend all day politicking and hob-bobbing over nothing in particular.. their salary is air conditioning and sirens, men at arms.. all the while getting nothing done..
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