Uganda opposition presents alternative ‘human rights-based budget’ for 2023/2024

(Last Updated On: 1 April 2023)

The opposition in the 11th Parliament under their leader (of Opposition) Mathias Mpuuga has on Friday, March 31, presented to the country alternative budget priorities for the fiscal year 2023-2024.

Their budget is based on the theme: “Rethinking Uganda’s Economy: A Human Rights Approach to Resource Allocation.”

Mpuuga and his team presented a well-researched policy document that, according to them, prioritizes improving the plight of all Ugandans over benefiting a few individuals in power.

These alternative budget priorities for the financial year 2023/24 according to the opposition are an outcome of the realization of the government’s failure to effectively implement the Programme-Based Budget as proposed under the 3rd National Development Plan (NDP III).

“We adopted the Human Rights approach to budgeting because we believe that in drawing up the National Budget, consideration must be put on how people’s rights are impacted by how public resources are collected, managed, and purposed,” said Mpuuga.

He said their manifesto clearly presents realistic and achievable policies but only if the country’s resources are allocated correctly. It is against this background that the alternative budget was presented.

Shadow finance Minister Muwanga Kivumbi noted that with better Democratic credentials, respecting human rights, and financial discipline the government would attract better external financing and investments.

 Kivumbi said by following the above principles, the regime would exempt Uganda from debts and minimize the tax burdens on its citizens.

The opposition ascertains that from tax exemptions, they want to be able to increase projected tax revenue collection from the current shs27trillion to shs31.8trillion in the coming financial year (2023/24) by recovering an extra shs4 trillion from tax exemptions.

Robert Kyagulanyi, leader of the National Unity Platform (NUP), the leading opposition party in the country since the 2021 general elections notes that wealth is concentrated in the hands of a small group.

Widely known as Bobi Wine, Kyagulanyi said because few have access to wealth, the country needs an alternative budget that truly represents the priorities, needs, and aspirations of all Ugandans

Every year, Uganda loses billions of shillings of public funds through corruption. In 2022, shs. 10 trillion was lost through corruption, according to the 2022 Auditor General’s Report. 

The 2023/24 alternative budget comes against a background of upsurges in inflation which have hurt many areas of economic life and exacerbated the human rights situation in Uganda.

Currently, the affordability of basic needs by many Ugandans is impossible as heavy wallets get lighter each time their owners go shopping. 

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