Bunyoro Kingdom passes sh15b budget

Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom has passed a sh15.8b budget for 2022/2023 fiscal year. 

The budget was presented on Saturday by Robert Owagonza, the Kingdom’s minister of finance and economic planning at the Kingdom Rukurato Hall (Parliament) in Hoima City.

The Office of the Prime Minister took a lion’s share (Sh3.2b) followed by the ministry of finance and economic planning (Sh2.3b); the Ministry of Investment got Sh2.2b and ministry of culture Sh1.022b.

The Attorney General Chambers was allocated Sh1b, production ministry Sh506m, natural resources Sh823m, Rukurato (parliament) Sh450m and ministry of gender Sh230m.

The ministry of social services got Sh960m, ministry of external relations Sh102m, Restitution and Reparation sh58m, Tourism Sh508m, Palace Affairs Sh2.1b, oil and gas sector Sh85m, Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom Hotel and Plaza building sh112m.

Owagonza said this year’s budget will focus on investments in tangible assets to ensure the kingdom is self-reliant financially.

The budget sitting was presided over by the Rukurato Omutalindwa (Speaker), Isaac Kalembe. It was passed under the theme “consolidating Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom’s transformation agenda.”

Owagonza said this year’s budget is a balanced one to avoid deficits and improve the kingdom’s financial health.

He said the kingdom is going to build a Sh2b commercial building in Bulisa district, start a radio and television station, among others.

The finance minister also revealed sources of its revenue which included sell of marriage certificates where they project to raise Sh48m, sh13 from portraits, sh2.2m from Bunyoro map, sh23m from designed T-shirts, caps and shirts, sh1m from key holders and sh1m from bangles.

Others are sh5m from flags, sh220m from lease fees, sh7m from sale of magazines, sh96m from rental income from commercial buildings, sh205m from Empango celebration contributions and sh5m from tourism.

The kingdom hopes to raise sh108m from fixed deposits, sh959m from land fees, gratis from government in consideration for using kingdom land, sh1.6b from grants and donations and sh141m from the kingdom plaza hotel.

Andrew Kirungi Byakutaga, the Kingdom Omuhikirwa (Prime Minister) who hailed the government for using oil discovery to construct infrastructures such as roads, an airport and schools, further wants it (government) to return its properties that are still under its custody.

He said the kingdom wants to put them to use and raise its revenue collections. 

Byakutaga also used the occasion to castigate individuals advocating for a Bagungu breakaway from Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom as self-seekers, divisive and short-sighted.

“Although the idea is currently being pushed by some individuals especially politicians, it was rejected seven years ago after wider consultations including by Fred Lukumu, the Buliisa district chairperson who is its chief proponent,” he added.

Byakutaga said the Omukama Solomon Gafabusa Iguru has severally implored his subjects to remain united and focused, adding that unity is strength.

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