The Minister of State for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs, Kabuye Kyofatogabye has said that the Ministry’s 2.5 billion Shillings Covid-19 response budget is yet to be considered.
Kabuye was on Tuesday appearing before the Public and Local Government Accounts committees. The committees are currently reviewing a list of beneficiaries of the COVID-19 relief cash, which was tabled before parliament by Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja last month.
During the meeting, MPs led by Tororo Woman MP, Sarah Opendi questioned the Minister why KCCA did not benefit from the recent supplementary budget approved by parliament towards the country’s Covid-19 pandemic response.
“I want to find out, You are the Minister of Kampala City Council and Metropolitan Affairs…I was looking at the 600 billion supplementary funding that was availed to all districts, municipalities and other cities. That list did not have Kampala City and yet what triggered us in this Covid-19 lockdown was the high number of infections here in Kampala,” said the former State Minister for Minerals Development.
Last week, Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago petitioned the committee that KCCA was never appropriated funds to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic yet Kampala has the highest number of infections.
He suggested a special budget for Kampala to manage the Covid situation. Lukwago says that since March 2020 when Uganda first registered a Covid-19 case, no single ambulance has been purchased for KCCA to evacuate victims and that KCCA needs to budget to at least purchase two ambulances for each division in Kampala.
Lukwago also said that the special budget would enable KCCA to equip all its health facilities with the necessary medical requirements needed to fight Covid-19, help build capacity to do surveillance, health workers to monitor the city, purchasing Personal Protective Equipment-PPE for health workers and others.
Minister Kabuye said that Kampala did not get any specific amount from the 600 billion supplementary budget. He however said that they submitted a resurgence plan for Kampala.
But Opendi was not satisfied by Kabuye’s response questioning why he did not present Kampala’s case before Kampala.
“Supplementary budgets are cleared by Cabinet, where either you or your senior colleague sits. And there were reasons why money was given to all the districts and cities except Kampala. Can I know from you, whether you ever raised a question…as to why Kampala City was left out,” Opendi insisted.
Kabuye said that the discussions about the money were held and that his Ministry is still pushing for a budget totalling 2.5 billion Shillings.
Some of the cities that benefited from the supplementary budget are Arua (338.4 million), Mbarara (224.8 million), Gulu (201.2 million), Jinja (206.4 million), Mbale (305.6 million), Lira (244.4 million), Masaka (180.4 million), Soroti (207.6 million), Hoima (208.4 million) and Fort-Portal (228.4 million).