Speaker Rt. Hon. Anitah Among presided over the plenary. In her communication, she demanded that the Attorney General provides a status report on Hons. Muhammed Ssegirinya and Allan Ssewanyana as well as a report on the brutal arrest of Dr. Kizza Besigye.
The House also witnessed the return of Hon. Agnes Nandutu (Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office in charge of Karamoja Affairs, after reports had gone around that she had slipped and fallen down while in the bathroom. She clarified to the house that she felt dizziness and on diagnosis, she was found with a blood clot in one of her lungs which was treated. “I did not fall in the bathroom as speculated, but I just felt dizziness and when I was taken to hospital, I was diagnosed with a blood clot in my lungs. I thank God for rescuing my life, I am now very ok”, she said. She appreciated the Minister of Health Hon. Jane Ruth Aceng for the support that she rendered. She also told the house that she was back and ready to perform her duties. “I am alive, fresh and reloaded and ready to execute my duties”, she said. She also praised Mulago National Referral Hospital, where she was admitted, as the best Hospital in Uganda.
Thereafter Hon. Jackson Kafuzi the Deputy AG presented a brief on the status of the matter concerning Hons Ssegirinya and Ssewanyana. He said the next stage for their cases was to because listed for trial at the International Crimes Division and Masaka High Court.
Thereafter, Hon. Henry Musasizi The Minister of Finance in charge of General Duties, moved a motion that the House resolves itself into a Committee of Supply to approve the revised expenditure estimates for the fiscal year 2021/2022. Under Supplementary schedule No 2, the Ministry of Finance sought UGX 617.9 bn for 10 Votes to among others cater for salary shortfalls and emerging security concerns in the FY 2021/2022.
The breakdown of the Supplementary Budget for FY 2021/2022 is as follows: UGX 86.3bn for Office of the President to cater for external financing from EXIM Bank for the National Science, Technology, Engineering and Innovation Skills Enhance Project; UGX 77bn for State House for classified expenditures; UGX 64.4bn for UPDF to facilitate Operation Shujaa in DRC and UGX 87.5bn for operations in Karamoja sub region; UGX 25bn for Ministry of Works for security roads in Karamoja; UGX 21bn to cater for land compensation payments to a number of Local Governments and UGX 0.066 Bn to facilitate completion of Kayunga and Yumbe Hospitals outstanding project activities; UGX 2.5 bn for Ministry of Gender to facilitate election of the Office bearers for the Uganda Moslem Supreme Council; UGX 1 bn for Fort Portal Catholic Diocese and UGX 0.600 bn for Greater Ankole Diocese to facilitate preparations for the Uganda Martyrs Day celebrations 2022; UGX 0.18bn for procurement & maintenance of diagnostic equipment for Naguru Referral Hospital, UGX 0.39 bn for procurement of two motor vehicles for the Head and Deputy Head of Uganda’s Mission in Cairo; UGX 251.7 bn to meet wage shortfalls under Central & LG Votes.
Thereafter, the Committee of Supply considered Supplementary Schedule No 2 amounting to UGX 617.948 billion and passed it with no amendments.
However earlier responding to the Supplementary Request, Hon. Nathan Nandala-Mafabi emphasised the need for Accounting Officers to be held accountable for non-payment of salaries. On his part Hon. Kateshumbwa Dicksons (Sheema Municipality MP, NRM) weighed in by saying the government should avoid causing stress on the budget through midterm suppressions which result in shortfalls. He said commitments had been made and that items which have a call on the budget should be prioritised. On his part, Kampala Central Division MP, Hon Nsereko Muhammad asked the government to tag every plan with financial implications. He was concerned that some of the elected Councillors had not been paid since they were sworn into office.
Thereafter, the Chairperson of the Committee on Physical Infrastructure Hon David Karubanga presented the report (attached) on Kasoli Housing Project, a low-cost housing project in Tororo Municipality. This report follows a petition to the house raised by Hon. Sarah Opendi concerning the Kasoli Housing project. The Kasoli Housing Project was established through an MOU between Kasoli Tenants SACCO and DFCU Bank and UN-Habitat. The project was to develop 250 low-cost houses in two phases, aimed at benefiting a total of 250 households of property owners in the Kasoli slum area.
The Committee observed that Government had a hand in the failure of the beneficiaries of Kasoli Housing Project to clear their loan obligations. The committee further noted that the notice given to the beneficiaries on 1st March 2016 to the effect that the SGR intended to take over the project and compensate them led them to believe that they could rely on the compensation money to clear their loan obligations. The Committee observes that the tenants of Kasoli Housing Project; both those who had acquired houses and those who had not yet benefited from the project were at risk of being deprived of their property. The Committee further noted that there was no guarantee that the bonafide beneficiaries would actually benefit from the compensation because other claimants are coming up, and the two lists of beneficiaries submitted to the Committee by different stakeholders have differences.
The Committee recommended that Government clears the outstanding mortgage with the DFCU Bank and get back the land title to avoid the accumulation of interest on the Kasoli Housing Project. However, Hon. Ronald Balimwezo (Nakawa East, NUP) had a dissenting opinion from the Main Report. He wanted the House to fully scrutinize the titles of the land in question in Kasoli Housing Project and establish the legalities surrounding the entire mortgage arrangement that was given by DFCU Bank.
In response, the 3rd Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Rukia Nakadama told the house that Government would take this as an urgent matter across the different institutions. She said that the issues raised would be investigated and action taken.
Earlier Hon. Nandala Mafabi had fulfilled his promise to offer each of the MP a packet of Elgon Pride Coffee. This was after the day before the debate on the Coffee Deal, which now Parliament has recommended for cancellation. The Speaker told him to pass on the coffee to the Parliamentary Commissioner, Solomon Siliwany for onward distribution to the honourable members.
The House was later adjourned to Friday, 20 May 2022 at 10:00 am.