Government Should Not Neglect Intelligence Funding.
The minister for Security Henry Tumukunde has delivered a tough statement to MPs advising them against the dangers of neglecting intelligence funding.
Tumukunde made an appearance before the committee on presidential affairs that is currently scrutinizing the budget framework paper for the president’s office under which the Internal Security Organization is housed.
In a solemn appeal to MPs Tumukunde stated that with tourism being Uganda’s largest earner security and stability is a priority that must not be overlooked he argued that the baseline for security is intelligence.
“Because the baseline for security is intelligence, if you murder the baseline then you are actually doing postmortem.” He stated. He wondered why MPs allocate resources to what he termed as less deserving activities but neglect security.
“And you happen to provide resources for areas I think could have lesser resources or could even wait, why you find it easier to facilitate an economic monitoring unit and you are not concerned about what destroys the economy that is insecurity.” He argued.
Tumukunde has requested for a special session with the MPs closed to the media in order to breakdown his arguments with facts and figures. The minister for the presidency Esther Mbayo informed MPs that ISO requires funds totaling to Shs283.1bn for programs and activities planned for FY 2018/2019 but only Shs19.8bn has been allocated for these activities in the medium term expenditure framework.
She stated that efforts and consultations were made with the ministry of finance on the matter without success. Among the activities planned for next financial year is the procurement of a reliable fast and secure communication equipment budgeted at Shs73bn, enhancement of technical intelligence collection and analysis to cost Shs17.2bn, and procurement of 134 motor vehicles and 1578 motorcycles valued at Shs28.8bn and Shs25.9bn respectively.
None of these items have received even 90% of the desired funding. MPs across the political divide were sympathetic with the government’s position and voiced opinions highlighting the importance of adequate funding to ISO. They vowed not to approve the Office of the president’s budget unless the finance ministry allocate the desired funds towards intelligence operations.
The Makindye East MP Ibrahim Kasozi admonished Mbayo for not providing evidence of efforts to appeal to the ministry of finance for the required funding.