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Stop telling lies, MPs task Gov’t to fulfill all President’s pledges

The Chairperson of the Committee on Government Assurances, Hon. Kaps Hassan Fungaroo (FDC, Obongi), presenting the Committee Report to Parliament last week

Members of Parliament have asked government to follow up and fulfill pledges made by President Yoweri Museveni during presidential campaigns and countrywide tours.

MPs noted that several roads, health centres and hospitals that had been promised to be worked on were still pending, years after the pledges were made.

The MPs were debating a Report of the Committee on Government Assurances and Implementation on the status of implementation of government assurances in sectors of health, works and transport in selected districts.

The Report was presented by the Committee Chairperson, Hon. Kaps Hassan Fungaroo (FDC, Obongi) and focused on studying the status of Government assurances in over 26 districts in Busoga, West Nile, Acholi, Teso, Bukedi, Buganda, Sebei, Kigezi, Rwenzori and Ankole.

The MPs commended Government for working on most of the assurances but added that progress on many others had stagnated, asking government to follow them up to enable timely service delivery to the public.

“The promised seed secondary school for Ngora sub-county has not been actualised and that is where the big problem is,” said Hon David Abala (NRM, Ngora County).

Hon Tonny Ayoo (NRM, Kwania) however, said that the President was not mandated to finance the implementation of the pledges but rather be included in budgets of various ministries.

“As Parliament, can we have all these assurances and pledges sent to the various ministries so that when we begin to deal with the budget, the pledges take the first call for implementation,” said Ayoo.

The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, noted some discrepancies in the Report on the findings of the progress of implementation of some of the assurances cited.

“The Report talks about the reconstruction of the Jinja – Kamuli – Mbulamuti road, which is near my house and has never been done. What has been done is the Jinja – Kamuli road,” Kadaga said.

The Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Betty Aol Ocan (FDC, Gulu district) called on members to engage committees to lobby for the pledges, which have not been worked on, adding that the National Planning Authority had to take up the initiative to give services to rural areas.

“As Members of Parliament, we should pressurise Government to handle pledges within five years,” said Aol.

The Government Chief Whip, Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa (NRM, Kiboga district), said some government programmes had been mistaken to be pledges by the President, most especially infrastructure programmes like electricity and universal primary and secondary schools in new districts.

“Every programme has a ministry under which it falls, so the Ministers are supposed to give Members updates so that they can also update their constituents,” said Nankabirwa.

The Committee noted that there remained gaps in fulfilling the pledges, which was partly attributed to lack of funding and prioritisation of the promises made.

The Committee recommended, among others, that the Finance Minister avails adequate funds for implementation of all unfulfilled assurances, within the 2018/20I9 financial year; and that unfulfilled assurances whose funding cannot be taken care of within the 2018/2019 financial year, be withdrawn by the Ministers responsible.

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