The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament (LoP) has unveiled an alternative budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023/2024, outlining key areas on which the government should focus.
“Shs48.9 trillion is the total resource envelope for FY2023/2024.” “Shs32.8 trillion of this is revenue generated internally,” Mr Mathias Mpuuga revealed on Friday.
Under the theme ‘Rethinking Uganda’s Economy: A Human Rights Approach to Resource Allocation,’ the Opposition indicated that if it were in power, it would prioritise providing resources to people, particularly the marginalised.
“It entails thinking through how financial resources are raised, allocated, and spent affect people’s rights,” Mr Mpuuga explained, adding, “Specifically, budget decisions should reflect progressive steps taken towards fulfilling human rights.”
The Opposition budget, which is divided into three major components—civil and political rights, economic rights, and social and cultural rights—differs significantly from the Shs50.2 trillion budget Finance Minister Matia Kasaija tabled in the House on Thursday. The proposed budget will be carried out under the theme “Full monetisation of the Ugandan economy through commercial agriculture, industrialization, expanding and broadening services, and digital transformation and market access.”
“I hope Parliament can process this budget quickly so that we can begin the new fiscal year as soon as possible,” Mr Kasaija said on Thursday after tabling the budget, which was accompanied by documents such as certificates of climate change compliance, financial implication certificates, debt management strategy certificates, and gender and equity compliance certificates.
Mr Mpuuga, on the other hand, stated on Friday that “the current planning is problematic, lacking in imagination, discriminatory, and unable to fathom the needs of our people.” He was backed up by the shadow Finance minister.
“We are telling this government that instead of investing in war and other things, just invest in diplomacy and uplift the common man,” Mr Muwanga Kivumbi said.
The shadow Finance Minister argued for fiscal prudence and austerity, noting that “no amount of economic engineering can fix this economy without a leadership with financial discipline.”
According to the opposition, Shs1.499 trillion will be allocated to agriculture, industries, and fisheries. Health (Shs2.952 trillion), education and sports (Shs460 billion), ICT (Shs176.7 billion), works and transportation (Shs3.526 billion), energy and mineral development (Shs1.410 trillion), and the Presidency ministry are all priorities. (Shs825b).
Opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi praised Mr Mpuuga for delivering what he called a “people-centred plan,” while criticising the government for focusing more on consolidating power at the expense of its citizens.
“No matter how brilliant our alternative policies are, they simply cannot be implemented under a dictatorship whose sole concern is maintaining power,” Mr Kyagulanyi said.
“We must restore hope to the thousands of young Ugandans who queue at Entebbe airport in search of a better life outside of Uganda,” he added. Unfortunately, the majority of them face even more humiliation and indignity, with no protection from the regime.”
Ms Doreen Nyanjura, the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Deputy Lord Mayor, spoke on behalf of the Forum for Democratic Change party, highlighting rampant corruption that “waylays resources before they go to the intended beneficiaries,” and urging the opposition to “leave our comfort zones” to bring about the change they seek.