Following the continued outcry by district officials over lack of funding to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, government has ordered the district authorities to submit their budgets and work plans to the Ministry of Finance to be cashed immediately.
The Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaija had informed Parliament on Tuesday that the Ministry would wire funding to all districts Chief Administrative Officers (CAO) by midnight.
However, Kasilo County MP, Elijah Okupa told Parliament on Wednesday that he found out from his CAO that no money has been wired since yesterday.
Kasaija explained to the House that indeed the Ministry is ready with all the necessary funding but there were some procedural matters that needed to be handled before the money would be wired.
“Yes, I said the money was expected to be on the accounts by midnight. However, we were faced with a procedure, the districts had not sent us their detailed action plan,” Kasaija said.
Kasaija said that according to the law and the procedure within the financial sector, if one hasn’t sent to the Permanent Secretary the budget program, the money can’t be sent.
“The money is there but there are procedural problems which I had not seen myself and as soon as that is done, the money will go the districts,” Kasaija said.
His submission was backed up by the Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda who noted that the Minister of Finance has been in touch with him and that the matter is being resolved.
“He asked me that all government ministries and districts submit their requisite details for money and I instruct the Permanent Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister to immediately contact them so that they submit their appropriate documentation to the Ministry of Finance,” Rugunda said.