Budget reading meaningless, useless-Besigye

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Former presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye, says the reading of the budget has now become a ceremonial event and has nothing to do with the welfare of the population.

“The budget is meaningless and actually useless,” Besigye told NTV at his home in Kasangati, Wakiso district.

He said anybody wasting their time listening to the budget is advised not to do so because there is nothing worth listening to.

Speaking after Finance Minister Matia Kasaijja presented the 2017/18 National Budget, Museveni said he had been reading newspapers giving a pessimistic view of the economy.

“As the Bible says, they have eyes but they don’t see. They have ears but don’t hear. I am optimistic because for the first time, we have got the base which we did not have before.”

He said the base was reflected in the element is peace that is reigning across the country, electricity and new roads.

“There can be no shared prosperity when the economy is collapsing,” Besigye disagreed.

Besigye, however, accuses Museveni of taking control of the country’s treasury and withdraws money at his convenience.

“If he says I want Shs20 trillion in my state house, Mutebile [Bank of Uganda governor] just says where are the trucks to carry it,” Besigye told the television.

Mutebile at budget reading

He said government is clinging to power through hundreds of thousands of crime preventers while people starve in the villages.

“They are using the disos [district internal security organisations] as a machinery for regime survival and misusing funds for service delivery.”

Besigye said the national crisis about land grabbing was real yet land is basis of survival for the people.

“People are being killed in Apaa in Amuru district.”

Besigye’s remark came after three people died while 21 others were injured following a Wednesday morning attack waged by unknown armed men on residents occupying the disputed Apaa land in Juka village, Adjumani District.

The land at the centre of controversy was demarcated in September 2015 by the government and handed to Adjumani District local government.

The attack comes two months after one person was killed and more than 130 huts burnt by armed thugs in March in the area.