The permanent secretary in the ministry of finance has been critical of the civil society for failing to adequately monitor government’s programmes
By Francis Emorut
KAMPALA - The permanent secretary in the ministry of finance, Keith Muhakanizi, has been critical of the civil society for failing to adequately monitor government’s programmes once the budget is released.
For that, he has called on civil society organisations (CSOs) to be more vigilant on monitoring the national budget.
Accordingly, he also underlined that the budget must be run as planned and it must be clean and its time framework maintained – that is, by the end of June every year.
Muhakanizi was addressing members of the Civil Society Budget Advocacy group during a meeting on the national budget framework paper at the ministry of finance headquarters in Kampala on Friday.
“You have not come to us as far as monitoring government’s programmes is concerned. You have failed us,” he told the group.
As such, the PS rallied civil society to step up in monitoring government’s programmes and not stop at criticizing government when things go wrong.
“All of us need to work hard and ensure that this financial year 2014/2015 budget meets its priorities,” he said.
Julius Kapwepwe, the director of programmes at Uganda Debt Network, agreed with the finance ministry official’s comments.
Muhakanizi, who is also the secretary to the treasury, said he was glad to meet the executive director of Anti-Corruption Coalition of Uganda, Cissy Agaba, who has always been critical of government’s shortcomings.
“I am happy to meet this lady face to face although I always see her on national television stations,” he told the group.
Julius Mukunda, the coordinator of the Civil Society Budget Advocacy, said that there is need for government to increase funding in health, education and agriculture sectors.
He singled out the Special Needs Education (SNE).
“Financing of SNE over the years is extremely inadequate, considering the available funding remains at the centre of ministry of education and sports. There is no funding at the local government level where the service is actually delivered,” he said.
The civil society group recommended increasing funding of SNE at least by 1% of the education sector FY 2014/15 and operationalizes the special needs and inclusive education initiative specifically to recruit SNE officers, support specialized training in special needs education and sensitize stakeholders on their role to support the education of children with special learning needs.
Civil society told to monitor national budget