Parliament has declined to approve a supplementary budget request of Shillings 518 billion for the 2015/2016 financial year. Opposition legislators put up a spirited fight against the approval of the supplementary budget after government failed to convince them on the payout of Shillings 78 billion in court awards.
A section of legislators demanded an explanation for the criteria used to pay the court award despite recommendations by the Budget committee to parliament to approve the money. Nandala Mafabi, the Budadiri West MP and Dokolo Woman MP, Cecilia Ogwal observed that the list of those to be paid looked selective.
Mafabi said deferring the matter would give government time to prove that the payment process isn’t selective.
Eddie Kwizera, the Bufumbira East MP noted that government had failed to provide supporting evidence to prove the eligibility of the ten firms listed for the awards.
Elijah Okupa, the Kasilo County MP claimed that some law firms are using court awards as an opportunity to mint money from government, which should be probed.
After a protracted debate between government and the opposition, State Minister of Finance, David Bahati and Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana agreed to go and consult with the Auditor General to verify the claims and report back within three days.
The speaker Rebecca Kadaga, granted the request of the government team to consult and report back to parliament. Some of the firms whose payments are being contested include Bashasha and Company Advocates Shillings 38.3 billion; Kampala Associated Advocates Shillings 647 million; Kaahwa Rwakafuzi, Bwirukika and Company Advocates Shillings 1 billion; Dr. James Rwanyarare Shillings 3.2 billion and Moses Ssali also known as Bebe Cool and others Shillings 485 million.
Others are Omara Atubo and Company Advocates Shillings 372 million; Ndyomugabe and Company Advocates 2.3 billion; Byenkya, Kihika and Company Advocates 23 billion; Mary B Kariisa 2.1 billion and Picfare Industries 6.1 billion shillings. Government has outstanding arrears arising from court awards totaling over Shillings 400 billion.