Opinion: Mr. President needs more supplementary funds than the average referral hospital

Today, the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) in the first week of the budget year dropped the first supplementary budget of the budget year. What is striking in this one and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is loaning billions upon billions of shillings for a possible financial recovery after the pandemic.

However, the President is now getting more funds in the Supplementary Budget than the 15 referral hospitals. Yes, the Ministry of Health getting a huge slice of the pie this time. Nevertheless, the fine print shows that the President needs 6,964,000,000 to fight COVID-19. He needs 6.9 billion shillings on his own to combat this.

The 15 referral hospitals, which has been deemed fit for additional funding on the other hand gets the handsome sum of 575,500,000 or 575 million shillings. In total 8,625,000,000 or 8,6 billion shillings. That’s the total direct budget supplement from the state to 15 hospitals in the middle of a pandemic and the second wave.

The funds given to the hospital barely have over 1,5 billions shillings more than the President. However, each hospital gets less funding and they are on the frontline. It is not like the President is giving people vaccine in Kawempe or in Makindye. Heck, he will not even do it in Ankole. The President is rather safe behind bulletproof glass in his vehicle, than ever giving a helping hand. Unless, there are some elders willing to bend their knees for him and kiss the ring for his majesty.

This is a supplementary budget to fight COVID-19 not to further salaries for additional Presidential Advisors or whatnot. Neither it is to cover expenses from the general election or what else you can imagine.

It is just baffling that the state prioritize this way. Just like the External Security Organization gets additional 1.1 billion shillings and Internal Security Organization gets 4.7 billion shillings. You can wonder how these organizations combat this deadly disease. In combination that the Ministry of Defence is getting the 10.4 billion shillings and the Uganda Police Force for some reason has the grand total of 19 billion shillings. This is all security, tear-gas and to enforce the Standard Operational Procedures SOPs or the Presidential Directives plus keeping the officers and soldiers happy during the lockdowns. Because, what does these entities has to offer in the combat of COVID-19?

That is beyond the point, right? Just like the Office of the President has little to nothing to do in the ambition to stop the spread. This just shows how mismanaged the whole thing is and lack of priority. When such vast sums of money can be spent on these parts of government. This is not to procure or get vaccines. This is not to buy PPE or produce more oxygen. This is not train more nurses or doctors. No, this is to boost the fragile ego of one man and secure his reign. Why else would he spend billions on the State House and Security, as a measure to fight COVID?

He is not kidding anyone, only himself and his fellow cadres who eats this nonsense for breakfast. This a mockery and public wastage at it finest. Peace.

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Ethiopia: Will the World Bank accept the blocking of the funding of the Safety Net Program in Tigray?

The World Bank together with development partners has supported a Safety Net Development projects since the financial year of 2018 and it’s supposed to end by 31st December 2020. It is called by them Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP). This is supposed to support farmers and secure food security across the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE).

Clearly, the fallout between the Tigray and Addis Ababa. The result of the political stalemate between Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Prosperity Party (PP) has yet another financial implication. The PP have already blocked Federal Support of the Regional Government of Tigray. Also, collaboration between the House of Federation (HoF) and Regional Government of Tigray has ceased.

Today, the news that the Federal Government are now blocking the funds and support through the World Bank Program of PSNP. A program made for farmers, secure livelihood and give the farmers social accountability. Latest support from the World Bank was in September 2020. The Federal Government got $66m USD allocated to PSNP. The funds now blocked has to be from this.

This means the state is deliberately blocking one region from accessing funds given to the whole Republic. It wasn’t given to just Amhara or Oromia. No, it was given to the government representing the whole Republic. That means, the altering of the funding, which was intended to them all.

The funders of the PSNP should react to this. Especially, if they care for the livelihood of the farmers in Tigray. If the state had blocked farmers in Ogaden or in Oromia. There would be the same reason to cry havoc. This is wrong on all basis and only done because the PP is punishing the Tigray for not following the “orders” from Addis.

The Federal Government is punishing the farmers of Tigray. That is the reality of this. The foreign donors are blocked from giving needed aid to Tigray. Just because the PP and Federal Government isn’t friendly with Mekelle at the moment.

This is tragic that foreign aid can be used like this and be suspended, because of the Napoleon Complex of the Prime Minister. Peace.

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