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State House clarifies on funds

By Vision Reporter

Added 7th May 2004 03:00 AM

MOST of the money queried by the Auditor General was generally used for the President’s security, State House has clarified

MOST of the money queried by the Auditor General was generally used for the President’s security, State House has clarified

By Felix Osike

MOST of the money queried by the Auditor General was generally used for the President’s security, State House has clarified.
Reacting to a story headlined “State House loses billions” in The New Vision yesterday, Onapito Ekomoloit (right), the acting Press Secretary to the President, said while there may be fraudulent people at State House, who would be punished, all State House expenditure was based on money approved by Parliament.

The story was based on the latest Auditor General’s report to Parliament for the year ended June 30, 2003.
“In general, what comes out of the AG’s report as suspicious payments, especially in relation to the President’s travel, is largely due to the element of enhancing his security,” Onapito said.
Below is the full statement:
“State House wishes to strongly protest and correct the erroneous impression created by the Article, “State House loses billions,” that President Yoweri Museveni’s travel and other expenditure is shrouded in fraud.

The basis of your article was legitimate queries by the Auditor General about the State House expenditure. But your paper should know better these are just queries which are subject to evidential challenge.
The most important thing all your readers must know is that all State House expenditure is based on money approved by Parliament.

It should also be noted that the internal usage of the approved money reflects the unique nature of the duties of the President.
Consequently, most of the expenditures your story dubbed “fraudulent” must be understood in this context.
In general, what comes out of the AG’s report as suspicious payments, especially in relation to the President’s travel, is largely due to the element of enhancing his security.

What should really worry Ugandans is whether the President and his staff actually undertook the mentioned travel.
More importantly, was this travel beneficial to the country? The answers to both questions is a loud “Yes.”

President Museveni travels extensively within and without the country. His travel has been very beneficial in terms of crippling the LRA terrorism, mobilising wananchi for social transformation, enhancing Great Lakes region peace and integration and increasing market access for Uganda.

The President has undertaken some of his travel under what one may call “unpresidential” conditions, precisely because of national resource limitations, which he appreciates.
It is worth noting that Parliament has recently recognised the limited travel resources of State House and indicated willingness to increase budget allocation for it.

State House appreciates the understanding of the parliamentary committee on presidential affairs.
It is, therefore, illogical to give your readers the impression that a President who is clearly starved of resources tolerates “loss of billions” of shillings under his very nose.

Of course, State House is not staffed by angels, and black sheep cannot be ruled out. Many have been exposed in the past and punished accordingly, since President Museveni has always been at the forefront of fighting corruption.

Your readers should rest assured that if State House has lost any money, certainly not billions of shillings, it will be recovered, and the culprits made to pay.”

State House clarifies on funds

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