As the nation continues to mourn the late Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, the budget for his burial yesterday sparked alarm on social media as many Ugandans were left bewildered by the 2.5 billion shillings being allocated to different items to cover burial expenses.
According to the images that have since been circulating on social media, 312.9 million shillings is going to the Acholi MPs, A-Plus funeral services that is to handle the burial arrangements has been allocated 226 million, 248.7 million to the finance committee, 158.5 million for the diginatries’ security and fuel costs that amount to 124 million shillings.
Additionally, 1.1 billion shillings has been allocated to food, drinks and other necessities. The deceased will be laid to rest on April 8, 2022.
Joining a large majority of Ugandans who have been questioning the burial costs and expenses was Olive Najjuma on The Fatboy Show who felt it inordinate to spend so much on the deceased Speaker when the country had another lot of pending issues.
“Let's get things straight; yes he was the speaker and status requires that he is given a very decent burial but at the end of the day, he is not here anymore yet the issues we have as a country are going to stay. Last year we had a series of riots by doctors, nurses and interns about salary raises and here we are! Cut the budget but still give him a decent send-off!” Olive said.
Hon. Milly Babalanda, the Minister in charge of Presidency via her official Twitter account urged Ugandans not to worry about the figures, saying that they ‘don't matter’ but what does was the status of the fallen speaker and the activities involved in his send-off. She further requested Ugandans to avoid traumatizing the late’s family during this trying time.
“Well, aren't you traumatizing the country by spending 2.5 billion shillings?” Olive asked Fatboy, another Co-host of the show. He responded by agreeing with Olive’s contention, saying that when nurses ask for a pay rise, the Office of the President asserts that there is no money but when it comes to burying the late Speaker, within no time the Government is able to find 2.5 billion shillings to take care of it.
“Forgive me but this money is too exorbitant, in addition to 500,000 dollars that was spent on the plane that took him to the US. Break this budget down and it can build a small hospital,” Olive further complained.
Her Co-host Fatboy in banter asked her to also join politics instead of complaining, and acquire the Speakership position and benefit too.
Rt. Hon Jacob Oulanyah lost his life on March 20, 2022 in Seattle US to a non-specified disease to date. His body will be returned to the country on Friday April 1, 2022 and laid to rest after a week in Omoro, his home district.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive and Sarah every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.