Kampala, Uganda | URN | President Yoweri Museveni sought a five months salary advance soon after the 2016 General Election. In honour of his request, State House released a total of Shs 19.1 million off its budget for the financial year 2016/17.
This was revealed as a team from State House interfaced with the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on July 30th, 2019. The committee is scrutinising queries raised by the Auditor General, in his report for the financial year ending June 2018.
During the year, the Office of the President received Shs 126.8 billion but used only Shs 125.7 billion with the balance of Shs 1.1 billion returned to the treasury. But State House officials told PAC that part of the money that was returned to the treasury had been recovered from Museveni, who, had asked for a salary advance in the previous financial year 2016/17.
The officials said, the rest was saved after deleting from the payroll, a list of pensioners who couldn’t be accounted for after a joint verification exercise conducted by the Office of the President and Ministry of Public Service.
Yunus Kakande, a secretary in the Office of the President, said Museveni asked for a salary advance prompting them to seek a supplementary budget from which they funded the Shs 19 million. Kakande says this money was however recovered in the financial year 2017/2018 and returned to the treasury.
President Museveni reportedly earns a monthly salary of Shs 3.6 million. He has often claimed that he doesn’t need government money (salary) because he is rich enough to finance his needs from his own personal investments and projects.
“The principal took an advance, he wanted some money. We gave him the advance. Eventually we recovered that money,” said Kakande.
The request for an advance came soon after the controversial 2016 general election which Museveni won with a 61 per cent margin. The chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Nathan Nandala Mafabi says the legislators are crosschecking if Museveni was listed as one of the debtors in the 2016/2017 records
Maruzi County MP Maxwell Akora wondered if public servants can be granted salary advances that can even go as far as five months.
“I’m wondering whether that is an ordinary transaction that public civil servants receive and are granted advances. If it is, is that the only advance that was given,” said Akora.
The President’s team said that was the only advance Museveni has requested for and received after following procedures of alerting the permanent secretary ministry of Finance, among others.