Friday, 21 February 2014

Cabinet approves Shs120b for UPDF in South Sudan

President Museveni (C), yesterday paid 

 President Museveni (C), yesterday paid a visit to the UPDF soldiers fighting in South Sudan.


KAMPALA- Cabinet has approved Shs120 billion in supplementary budget largely to finance the ongoing UPDF operations in South Sudan, according to highly placed government and security sources.
Ministry of Defence originally requested for Shs150 billion, a source said on condition of anonymity owing to the sensitivity of the matter.
“It is true we have a request for supplementary budget from the ministry of Defence for emergency operations,” said Finance ministry spokesman Jim Mugunga. “The approval process will follow laid down procedures which include both Cabinet and parliamentary approval.”
He declined to state the amount requested, its source or whether the Cabinet has given the green light to release the funds.
“This is news to me,” parliamentary Budget committee vice chairman, Remegio Achia, who flew back in the country yesterday, said.
This newspaper has been told that plans are underway to cut the allocations for the Water and Environment, Relief and Disaster Preparedness and Local Government ministries to raise the Shs120b.
There are also reports that Mr Keith Muhakanizi, the secretary to Treasury, has already ordered permanent secretaries of the earmarked ministries to downsize their expenditure for the last quarter of the 2013/14 Financial Year.
“Leave me alone. Let me have my peace,” Mr Muhakanizi said when contacted over the military’s supplementary budget request, insisting the matter could only be handled by his line minister.
News of the approval of the Shs120 billion surfaces in the wake of revelations by South Sudan Defence minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk, during a radio programme a week ago that: “We (government of South Sudan) are funding all activities of UPDF and SPLA.”