Uganda News

Inside Ugx 2.5 Billion budget for Oulanyah’s state burial

The 56-year-old Oulanyah, who was the speaker of the 11th Parliament, died in the United States where he was airlifted in February for specialised medical care aboard a Uganda Airlines plane reportedly chartered at a disputed Shs1.7b.

The Shs2.5b budget prepared by the National Organising Committee chaired by the Presidency Minister, Ms Milly Babalanda, excludes medical and funeral home bills in the US as well as expenses of flying back Oulanyah’s body.

The casket containing the former speaker’s remains is expected to arrive by Ethiopian Airlines at Entebbe International Airport this Friday, and will be accompanied by Oulanyah’s family in the US and Ms Patricia Lakidi, described in medical documents as the deceased’s “partner”.

Read More: Oulanyah’s funeral is on a public holiday.

The ex-Omoro Member of Parliament’s time at the University of Washington Medical Centre was marked by protests outside the facility by the Ugandan Diaspora community over initial reports, which Uganda Airlines dismissed without providing alternative figures, that airlifting him to America cost Shs1.7b.

According to our analysis of the send-off budget, nearly half of the Shs2.5b will be spent on the actual day of Oulanyah’s interment at his ancestral home in Omoro in northern Uganda. The burial day shall, as specified in the law, be declared a public holiday.

Role of Acholi MPs

Members of Acholi Parliamentary Group (APG), who have been vocal since President Museveni announced Oulanyah’s demise on March 20, are to receive Shs312.9m for an unspecified purpose.

Asked yesterday what the lawmakers will use the money for since there is a separate Shs124m budgeted for “fuel for coordination” and Shs18m for publicity, APG chairperson Anthony Akol said: “I am not going to talk about the budget because, as Acholi Parliamentary Group, that is what we have agreed on. When Jacob (Oulanyah) was taken for treatment abroad, you people were complaining about the expenses and now why should I talk about the budget?”

He referred additional inquiries to Relief and Disaster Preparedness Minister Hillary Onek, whom he said is the APG representative to the National Organising Committee.

Earlier, a source familiar with the inside discussions about the burial budget preparation intimated that MPs from Acholi rejected the first budget, alleging that unnamed government officials had inflated it.

In the wake of Oulanyah’s death, Mr Museveni assigned minister Babalanda to oversee a state burial for the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) former national vice chairman for northern Uganda.

Over the past week, the committee has revealed next to nothing about its arrangements, with the minister tweeting to confirm this newspaper’s scoop that Oulanyah’s body was scheduled to arrive on Friday, barring last-minute changes.

However, sources familiar with the arrangement, citing the draft programme, confirmed that the body upon arrival on April 1, will be taken to A-Plus Funeral Home until Sunday when it will be moved for a wake at Oulanyah’s Muyenga residence in Kampala.

It is planned that at the airport, an Acholi cultural troupe will perform the Bwola, a graceful Acholi traditional dance for royalty or other notables during which high achievements including battle exploits or tribulations are recounted.

Culture consideration

Oulanyah was himself deeply immersed in his culture and publicly participated in different traditional Acholi dances.

According to the draft funeral and burial programme, Oulanyah’s body on Tuesday, next week, will be moved to Parliament where it will lie in state for tributes by legislators he headed.

The next day, the body will be taken to Kololo Ceremonial Grounds for public viewing and an open-air funeral service to be led by the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, His Grace Samuel Kaziimba.

The casket will then be flown to Omoro where public viewing of the body will take place on Thursday ahead of the interment planned for Friday,  April 8.

Oulanyah Burial Budget

Muyenga

1

Sitting and Ushering

Shs2.8m

2

Health service

Shs13.5.

3

Ceremonies

Shs12.3m

4

Protocol

Shs3.6m

5

A-Plus Funeral Services

Shs75m

Kololo Grounds

6

Decoration

Shs8.9m

7

Sitting and ushering

Shs8.1m

9

Ceremonies

Shs4.4m

10

Accreditation

Shs26m

11

Construction

Shs19m

12

Protocol

Shs1.9m

13

First aid

Shs10.5m

14

Finance sub-committee

Shs20m

15

Health service (Covid-19)

Shs60m

16

Publicity

Shs18m

17

A-Plus funeral services

Shs151m

Omoro

18

Decoration

Shs12m

19

Sitting and ushering

Shs14.7m

20

Ceremonies

Shs30.6m

21

Fuel for coordination

Shs124m

22

Construction

Shs3m

23

Protocol

Shs2.2m

24

Funeral service (general)

Shs1.1b

25

Finance sub-committee

Shs228.7m

26

Security

Shs158.5m

27

Acholi Parliamentary Group

Shs312.9m

28

Religious leaders

Shs11m

29

Health services

Shs34m

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