Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda’s security budget will increase for the next three years according to the Ministry of Finance.
This is already reflected in the 41.3 trillion shillings budget, the government has tabled for the financial year 2021/2022 in which governance and security takes a lion share of 7.7 trillion Ugandan Shillings.
This is followed by human capital development (Education and Health) at 6.8 trillion, Integrated transport infrastructure at 3.9 trillion, Agro-industrialization at 1.4 trillion and Regional Development and Development plan implementation 1.2 and 1 trillion shillings respectively among others.
Although Members of Parliament have raised concern at the up to 30.4 percent spending on security from the total revenue collection, the Minister of Finance says that this money will increase for only three more financial years of 2021/2022, 2022/2023 and 2023/2024 before it stabilizes.
While appearing before the Budget committee of Parliament on Tuesday, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija and Minister of Finance in charge of Planning David Bahati explained that security was the anchor to all the other sectors and that is why the allocation is great.
However, committee chairperson Amos Lugolobi said that the money allocated to security is not commensurate to the growth of the economy, adding that there was no evidence that the money being poured into security was indeed yielding. Lugolobi says that whereas security takes a lion’s share, what the same security seems to protect is very narrow or limited, with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growing at only 4 percent.
Matia Kasaija says that injecting a lot of money in security will give confidence to many to invest in Uganda. He says the increase in security budget is because government intends to purchase or use the money for something that will be completed in the three years, and after three years it will stabilize.
Butambala MP Muwanga Kivumbi says that the defense budget has never gone down for the last 7 years. He says the increasing component of the defense budget has been on classified expenditure.
Minister for Finance in charge of planning David Bahati told the committee that Uganda needs to remain secure in the midst of a turbulent region. He says although MPs and ordinary Ugandans do not see the threats, security people see these threats.
Defense’s classified expenditure hit up to 2 trillion shillings in 2020 and this figure is expected to go even higher with the new budget.
Last financial year, security got 4.5 trillion shillings.