Museveni Seeks Over UGX 21.9 Billion To Buy New Presidential Vehicles

Museveni Seeks Over UGX 21.9 Billion To Buy New Presidential Vehicles

The government is set to spend over Shs 21.950 billion on new vehicles for President Museveni and his vice president Jessica Alupo, according to the State House Budget framework paper under scrutiny before a parliamentary committee on presidential affairs.

Security minister Jim Muhwezi Katugugu revealed that Museveni and Alupo need new vehicles to ease their road movement. This followed a proposed 40 per cent cut on development in the financial year 2023/24.

“There is a need to reconsider the deduction and also consider the fact that the item is grossly underfunded given the ageing fleet of vehicles for the principals,” Muhwezi said as he presented to the committee chaired by Adjumani Woman MP Jesca Ababiku.

A further, Shs 21.722 billion was allocated to refurbish Entebbe State House.

“Since the Entebbe State House was constructed 15 years ago, no major renovation has been done and some of us who go there can confirm that it needs major renovation,” Muhwezi added.

He indicated that the same Shs Shs 21.722 billion is expected to repair and maintain Nakasero State Lodge and another 23 upcountry state lodges. The same allocation goes towards the procurement of five support vehicles; carry out the annual maintenance of the presidential jet and helicopter.

It also covers procuring specialized and security equipment, ICT equipment and both official and residential furniture. However, the money is less than the State House’s desired Shs 57.140 billion, which leaves a funding gap of Shs 35.418 billion. This 13.468 billion is desired to procure security equipment.

“The ever-changing security environment with new threats calls for procurement of upgraded security equipment,” Muhwezi said.

The indicative budget for the entity (State House) in the next financial year 2023/2024 is Shs 419.938 billion. According to the Security minister, the entity is mandated to provide at all times, support to the presidency in order to facilitate the effective and efficient performance of its constitutional and administrative responsibilities, short of which puts the country at risk.

Asked by The Observer how the failure to purchase new vehicles for the president and his vice would be a danger to the country, Muhwezi said although the duo can move on foot, it is important to have the vehicles.

“The president still moves. Haven’t you seen him walking? He continues to do his work. He can also delegate the army commander and other people but it would be better to be where he is supposed to be at any given time,” Muhwezi said.

Muhwezi noted that while other means can be engaged to collect information, it would require verification of the information collected.

“The information collected not using the specialized and security equipment may not be as accurate and requires verification and this takes time,” he said.

Museveni last year justified why his security team closes roads for hours before he passes – inconveniencing other motorists, saying the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) are after his life. It is unclear if the desired change of his fleet is related to this fleet. Last year, Museveni arrived for the state of the nation address in Kololo in a new Mercedes-Maybach luxury sedan.

Additional Reporting By Observer

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