“My mandate will be to ensure that government borrowing complies with the constitution."
KAMPALA - Newly appointed parliament committee chairpersons have promised to undertake various initiatives in executing their mandate to solve problems in the country in their area of jurisdiction.
The 10th parliament is now fully constituted after all committees were mid-last week constituted with leaders and members.
Rubanda East MP Henry Musasizi who has been appointed to head the parliament finance committee vowed it would not be business as usual as they ensure all agencies answerable to the committee properly account for their activities.
“Our core mandate is to process Bills in the finance sector and play an oversight role over state agencies in the finance sector. The committee has not been playing oversight over these agencies. For the last five years NSSF has not appeared before the committee to give accountability,” he said.
The lawmaker said they hope to begin with pending Bills like the Insurance Amendment Bill, the Anti-Money Laundering Amendment Bill, and the Retirement Benefits Bill.
The budget committee chairman Amos Lugoloobi said, “My priority will be to try to restructure the budget to focus less on consumptive expenditures and more on the productive sectors to stimulate economic growth. Otherwise, the way we are moving now, the economy is likely to stagnate. We need some radical changes to put it in a better state.”
Lugoloobi also promised that the health sector is allocated more resources than it has been getting to save more lives of Ugandans.
“All health workers lack motivation to serve their clients well because they are poorly paid. That is an area of great concern. Patients are getting a raw deal.”
The chairperson of the committee of national economy, Syda Bbumba said, “My mandate will be to ensure that government borrowing complies with the constitution. We shall guard against over borrowing because it puts a heavy burden on our children.”
On the occurrence of delayed utilization of borrowed money which causes the country to pay more interest and more commitment fees, the former finance minister said: “Government has not been providing counterpart funding and that has been delaying implementation of projects. We shall ensure government only borrows when counterpart funding is available and when the projects for implementation are ready.”
‘I won’t tolerate envelopes’
The Public Accounts Committee chairperson Angelina Osegge said they will improvise ways of ensuring public funds are not stolen.
“PAC has been mainly doing postmortem when the money has been already stolen. We want to see how we can stop misappropriation before it happens,” she stated.
On what she will do to guard against the habit of accounting officers sending emissaries with envelopes to compromise the PAC chairperson, Osegge said, “I believe in my principles. I will make it clear to them that I will not tolerate those envelopes. They better not even try because I will expose them.”
The vice chairperson for physical infrastructure committee Eng. Lillian Nakate talked of her committee’s plans.
“We will push for increased monitoring and supervision of projects in the transport, housing, urban, and lands sectors so that we can have value for the trillions of our budget allocated to those sectors.”
The agriculture committee chairperson Lowila Oketayet said: “We all know that the country has been singing commercialization of agriculture for so long but the percentage of Ugandans has remained at 68%. In fact latest statistics indicate it has increased to 69%. As the new chair, we will ensure government comes up with programs to deliberately get our people out of subsistence farming.”
She also promised to ensure that the recent 50% increase in the budget for agriculture is done in the next four years so that every year the sector gets a similar increment which can enable it reach the Maputo Declaration requirement of getting 10% of the national budget.
The ICT committee chairperson Paula Turyahikayo vowed to ensure that secondary schools get more computers, the ICT infrastructure reaches all the areas of the country and the Data Protection Bill is expedited.”