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Gov't restricts foreign travel but budget still high

In a bid to cut down on the huge travel bills, government has ordered that henceforth, public officials must seek clearance before they travel abroad from an unnamed relevant authority.

Also restricted is the purchase of foreign exchange for public officials traveling abroad. In a letter dated January 16, and addressed to all ministers and ministers of state, Prime Minister Ruhakana Ruganda says President Museveni has “noted with great concern that a lot of government expenditure is incurred on travel abroad”.

In the letter, Rugunda says clearance for travel will only be limited to “essential travels” and officials are “encouraged as much as possible to use our embassies and missions abroad to represent the interests of the country in various conferences and meetings where Uganda is invited."

Rugunda further demands that all ministries and agencies file quarterly returns of the cleared trips made abroad by ministry/agency staff and the amount of foreign exchange spent on the trips.

Rugunda says the order takes immediate effect and the money saved in travels be diverted to other national programs. Ironically, the travel budget for public officials has been steadily going up, with the government budgeting Shs 421 billion for FY 2017/18 up from Shs 353 billion spent in FY 2016/17. In FY 2007/08, government spent Shs 15 billion on foreign travels.

In FY 2009/10 the figure rose to Shs 20 billion. Rugunda issued a similar order last year in June when he noted that some officials travel abroad without clearance from the Prime Minister’s office.

A cabinet sitting on August 25, 2017 resolved that all ministers, ministers of state, head of public service and his deputy, permanent secretaries, chief administrative officers and specified officers had to be cleared by the prime minister.

The respective ministers were charged with clearing public officials below the position of permanent secretaries and chief administrative officers.

Comments

+1 #1 Akot 2018-01-19 22:01
How can there be public officials in a shithole that has no social services for the people & what public are you talking about?

These are museveni's officials travelling abroad: they are not public officials because they work for museveni & not for Ugandans who are not included in budget!
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+2 #2 rubangakene 2018-01-19 23:20
A good idea; but will it really succeed, I wonder?

Actually with the advance in technology today, we don't need these officials to travel abroad since most transactions are now done using "cloud enablement".

MPs should visit their constituencies regularly than trying to travel abroad for conferences that does not benefit the 'wanainchi' of this country.

They have been given cars an allowances to do that. Most times these MPs just end up doing their businesses in Kampala and then rushing home to show their faces at funerals.
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+3 #3 Lysol 2018-01-20 01:20
But M7 can still fly anywhere in the world in his aging Gulf Stream(like a celebrity), on taxpayers and polluting the environment and contributing to the global warming.
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0 #4 Akot 2018-01-20 18:46
rubangakene, thanks!

This is why, if Ugandans don't Unite to throw this looting self serving government out, they should not elect any mp any more!

After all museveni has already made it clear it's him & no other to rule, so why go for any election at all? There are no buildings nor toilest for people going to line up for hours to wait to vote & they don't have money to eat the whole day on voting day, neither do they have public transport?

Are there ambulances for any one who has health probnlem on voting day, if so, who pays for their medical bills?
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0 #5 Akot 2018-01-20 18:52
Lysol, agreed, but,

As long as Ugandans provide tax money in the most peaceful country, yet tribalistically ruled, how wan any foreign country not enjoy Uganda tax money as musevenei does?

State visits bring lots of money to countries visited, this is why developed countries limit their leaders visits abroad to 'business negotiations' & they go back home after signing contracts worth billions!
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