‘Uganda’s Budget is a Bunch of Wasteful Expenditure’


Uganda’s National Budget is a collection of wasteful expenditure. Budget has allocated resources as though Uganda’s economy is doing great. The Budget continued to prioritise infrastructure (roads – including rail and energy) yet what the economy needs now is a stimulus. The Budget is sticking to the script even when the script is flawed.

Indications of the flaws are in the continued choice to borrow and invest with no declared economic return, the choice to continue borrowing domestically (Treasury Bills) for long term investment, the choice to ignore strategic investment in water for production and national food silos, treating famine, crop and animal disease infestation and drought as an emergency.

As a result, IMF has downgraded our economic growth from the glorified 6% to 3.5 %. The wasteful expenditure on allowances, workshops and seminars, welfare and entertainment, special meals and drinks, travel abroad, donations and hire of venue, etc is estimated at 1.4 trillion of the FY 2017/18 Budget which is 7 per cent of the available expenditure resources of about Shs20 trillion.

Expenditure on these items is higher than planned expenditure of Shs1.2 trillion on priority sectors of agriculture, tourism, trade and industry and social development. In fact, government priority sectors are not reflected in the funding allocated to such sectors; which undermines attainment of national development objectives. Fast Forward: Major sectors taking the lions share include: 20.8% transport; 12.1% external debt payments, 11.3 % education and energy & mineral development – 10.5%.

The rest of the government sectors will share the remaining 10 trillion including health, tourism, agriculture and ICT! THE BIG QUESTIONS: Did you know that out of the 28.9 trillion budget, only 6 trillion is available and the rest is expected from development finance? Did you know that a total of 30% is allocated to debt financing? Will this budget stimulate growth for the citizens?

Sarah Bireete is Director at Center for Constitutional Governance