Parliament has approved Government’s request to transfer Sh792.15b that had been allocated to the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) in the 2021/2022 financial year budget to various ministries and State House.
The money is going to be shared among the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, the Ministry Energy and Mineral Development and State House.
The move confirms the revocation of the existence of REA (Vote 123) which was revoked under statutory instrument No. 29 of 2021 and its functions mainstreamed as a department in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (Vote 017).
Additionally, the decision approved the abolishment of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and transferred its functions to the Office of the President, serviced by the State House Comptroller under Vote 002.
The President under Article 113 of the 1995 Constitution has powers to establish, merge and dissolve Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies with the approval of Parliament.
The Ministry of Finance tabled before Parliament a motion to reallocate funds from the REA to the aforementioned ministries and State House.
On August 24, 2021, the Speaker Jacob Oulanyah referred the motion to the budget committee to scrutinize it and report back to Parliament.
The vice chairperson of the budget committee, Ignatius Wamakuyu, said the budgetary amounts proposed for reallocation under Votes123 and 017 were consistent with the amounts passed under the Appropriation Act 2021.
Wamakuyu appealed to the House to adopt the motion to facilitate the two votes execute functions that were envisaged in the Appropriation Act 2021.
He, however, proposed that the President appoints another position in the office of the President in addition to the existing cabinet position and accounting officer.
Kira Municipality MP, Ibrahim Ssemujju presented a minority report arguing that the reallocations should not be approved in the absence of revised and approved structures within the votes inheriting functions and funds of defunct entities of REA and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.
The report was supported by John Baptist Nambeshe (Manjiya County MP), Soroti District Woman MP, Anna Ebaju Adeke, Muwanga Kivumbi (Butambala County MP) and Gorreth Namugga ( Mawogola South MP).
The lawmakers demanded an assurance from the Ministry of Public Service, that no staff would be disadvantaged.
In April 2021, Parliament appropriated Sh527.114b under Vote 123 of REA and Sh265.043b under Vote 023 of the Ministry of Science, Technology and innovation for the financial year 2021/2022.
While making budgetary allocations this year, Parliament appropriated Sh676.47b to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development whereas Sh410.235 billion was appropriated to State House for the same financial year.
The reallocation of the funds will now bring the 2021/2022 working budget for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development to Sh1.2 trillion and that of State House to Sh675.278b.