Army wants Ugx 37 billion extra to clear AMISOM arrears
The ministry of Defense wants government to fast track the payments of its field arrears worth Ugx 37 billion in the new financial year.
In a statement by Mr Adolf Mwesige, the Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs says that the money is required, since it involves the central part of the army currently under the African Peace Keeping Mission in Somalia.
“Government should fast-track the payment of arrears amounting to US$ 10.6m (Shs 37 billion) to compensate for the wear and tear of the equipment in line with the existing memorandum of understanding,” reads the statement.
In the Sector Ministerial Policy Statement for the Financial Year, 2017-2018 currently before parliament, the ministry states that the arrears are dating as far as 2015.
Without stating the total amount of arrears, the Minister also states that domestic arrears constitute a great challenge to arising from unfunded priorities.
“The Ministry has adhered to Government Policy of ensuring that domestic arrears take first call on the budget…however, the challenge of unfunded and underfunded budget has caused continuous accumulation of arrears, “he stated.
The minister wants direct bailout by government so as to address all its current demands regarding unsettled arrears.
How the budget will be shared.
The Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs, has earmarked a total of Ugx 1.4 trillion which will be shared among-st all departments.
Accordingly, Ugx 137 billion will be spent on Defence Equipment while Ugx 741 billion and 17 billion will be consumed under UPDF and the Air Force respectively.
Looking through the highlighted priorities, the ministry intends to spend Ugx 11.5 billion on oil and lubricants for the army, Ugx 36.4 billion on food and Ugx 10.9 billion on uniforms.
Important to note is that Ugx 223 billion has been earmarked for classified expenditure.
For the new Financial year, the Ministry targets to “continue to consolidate the achievements that have ensured a peaceful, secure and stable Uganda through collective Defence and Security with our neighbours and the international community,” according to Mr Mwesige.
The Ministry has in the recent past been under sharp criticism from sections of the opposition and civil society for allegedly mishandling funds clustered as classified expenditure.
Under the current financial year, Ugx 1.5 trillion was allocated to the ministry, of which only Ugx 473.5 billion has so far been used as of December 2016.