The minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaija has asked the public to stop blaming Members of Parliament for pocketing Shs200m each because the car money was in already in the 2021/2022 national budget.
During a news interview with CBS FM on Monday, Kasaija said that the argument by most Ugandans that it was not the right time for the government to give out money to MPs before procuring Covid-19 vaccines is totally wrong because the Ministry of Health received the vaccine money even before the legislators getting their car funds.
The minister said the public should instead ask the Health Ministry why it has delayed to procure the vaccines.
“We issue money depending on the need of those who put in their request. secondly this money was in the budget, likewise the money for procuring Covid-19 vaccines and even medical apparatuses. For whatever money the Ministry of Health requested concerning Covid-19 we gave it out, it was our first priority. I even made a supplementary budget for them. As they requested it that is how we gave it. Therefore, for the reasons why the vaccines are not available, the public should ask the Minister of Health but they should not blame MPs for receiving their money because it was in our budget. We budgeted for it and this budget was done during Covid-19,” Kasaija said.
“People should go and ask the Ministry of Health where the vaccines are because me as the minister of Finance I have said that we gave them money.”
Last week, the Director of Communications at Parliament, Chris Obore revealed that the Government had started remitting Shs200 million to each of the 529 legislators and the 26 ex-officio members of the 11th Parliament, to enable them to buy cars. This matter raised a lot of concerns from the public and some civil societies who alluded that all that money would have been appropriated to purchase vaccines and covid-19 gears in different hospitals.
Recently the Ministry of Finance revealed that as a way of enabling the government to raise funds to finance activities meant to help in the fight against Covid-19, a decision was made to compress budgets in some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
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