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Buganda kingdom in revenue deficit for second consecutive year

Buganda Kingdom Finance Minister Robert Waggwa Nsibirwa presented the 2021/22 budget. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Buganda kingdom has for the second consecutive financial year failed to raise its targeted revenue due to the emergence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This has been revealed by the Kingdom’s Finance Minister Robert Waggwa Nsibirwa while presenting the traditional institution’s budget for the coming financial year 2021/2022 at Bulange, Mengo.

The kingdom collects the funds from envujjo, busuulu, kanzu, debt payment from the Central government, student fees payments, development partners, sports activities, Buganda certificates and kingdom portraits, communication stations, tourism and cooperatives, among others. In turn, the collected funds finance different key kingdom activities highlighted in the budget.

Figures seen by Uganda Radio Network-URN indicate that in the financial year 2019/2020, the kingdom realized only 100 billion out of the targeted 121.07 billion Shillings hence creating a deficit of 21 billion.

In the current financial year 2020/2021, ending on Wednesday 30th June, the kingdom has collected only 79.19 billion out of the targeted 109.76 billion Shillings hence a deficit of 30.57 billion.

Our reporter revisited the kingdom’s 2020/2021 financial year budget and learnt that out of the targeted 15.3 billion from school fees, the institution collected 8.5 billion, while envujju, busuulu and kanzu yielded 11.5 billion out of the targeted 15 billion.

The kingdom development partners brought in 20.6 billion instead of the targeted 32.2 billion, while sports activities collected 1.53 billion instead of 31.6 billion. However, the kingdom received 3.3 billion from government (debt) higher than the targeted 3 billion. It also collected 670.2 million from Buganda certificates and kingdom portraits instead of the 550 million.

Nsibirwa attributed the shortfall to the Covid-19 pandemic saying that most of the money comes from land transactions carried out by Buganda Land Board and that the pandemic affected the kingdom subjects’ payment of Busuulu and Envujjo.

He also attributed the low collection to closure of schools and that when these were eventually opened early this year, their income remained low to enable them support the Kingdom’s work.

The budget deficit according to Nsibirwa’s budget speech meant low expenditure on different programs compared to the kingdom’s target. For example, only 295.4 million was spent on operations of Kabaka’s office and palace instead of 361.2 million, 4.5 billion spent on Buganda Land Board instead of the 11.06 billion, 831 million spent on completion of Kasubi tombs instead of 1 billion, 11.7 billion on investments instead of 18.08 billion and others.

Nsibirwa says that despite the challenges related to COVID-19, the kingdom achieved some of their set out activities like filling up positions in the Buganda Lukiiko, organizing the coronation and birthday celebrations of Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, renovation of Bamunanika and Nkoni palace, developing of the Legal Aid Policy by the Buganda Royal Law Chambers and others.

Asked how they intend to raise the projected 120.89 billion in the coming financial year 2021/2022 given shortfalls in the previous year budgets, Nsibirwa told URN that they have put in place systems to engage more in digital economy.

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URN

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