Museveni shakes hands with Lucy Nakyobe the state house financial Comptroller after receiving a medal of exemplary service.
Museveni shakes hands with Lucy Nakyobe the state house financial Comptroller after receiving a medal of exemplary service.

State House Comptroller Lucy Nakyobe hid behind English words to try and get off the pan during a Parliamentary hearing where she was being grilled over the issue of State House scholarships.

To try save self, she told the MPs that State House does not give scholarships but fees.

The State House vault boss played the semantics card early today morning while appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Equal Opportunities to answer queries showing State House scholarships.

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Her remarks followed an argument fronted by the committee Chairperson, Muhammad Nsereko, (NRM, Kampala Central) who questioned legality of State House scholarships.

“Our money isn’t scholarship fund, what we use are donation funds. We haven’t been given money in the budget as scholarship funds,” she said denying any illegality in paying fees for the students benefiting from State House.

Mr Nsereko had pointed out Section 42(9) of the Higher Education Students Financing Act 2014 which calls for all funds paid by Government institutions to be channeled to Students Loan Scheme.

Mr Nsereko contended that it is illegal for State House to be running a parallel fund where the process of choosing beneficiaries is not transparent.

The meeting between State House officials and MPs followed complaints raised in the Minority National Budget report by Members on the Parliament Budget Committee.

Authored by Cecilia Ogwal and Muwanga Kivumbi, the duo opposed budget allocations for the said activity.

They argued that scholarships being offered at Secondary and Primary levels are parallel to Government policies of offering Universal Primary Education and Universal Secondary Education.

In its just passed budget breakdown, State House  is set to spend Shs2.4b on 20 university students abroad (continuing), university students abroad (new in-take 41 doctors for specialized training, 2 for ICT training and 2 petroleum Engineers at Shs3.8 billion.

2031 University students in Uganda will account for Shs11.7 billion while 85 Students in other Tertiary institutions will account for Shs782 billion.

The First House plans to spend another Shs1.6 billion on 707 secondary school students and Shs188m will be spent on paying fees for 85 pupils in primary schools.

Although the authors of the Minority report had proposed the Shs20b on State House Scholarship be diverted to the Students Loan Scheme, where no money had been committed, their proposal was rejected.