Members of the Legal and Parliamentary Committee are pressing the Ministry of Finance to release crucial funds for the Law Development Centre (LDC) to operationalize its regional campus in Mbale City.
This plea follows revelations by LDC officials that out of the required 19 billion shillings for the Mbale campus, only 3 billion shillings has been released. Currently, LDC operates regional campuses in Mbarara and Lira alongside its main campus in Kampala.
In the ongoing budget framework discussions for the financial year 2024/2025, the Law Development Centre presented its budget request of shs32 billion.
This includes shs8.8 billion for the wage bill, shs19 billion for non-wage expenditures, and shs4.4 billion for development.
Hamis Dungu, Secretary of LDC, highlighted unfunded priorities in the budget, including the shs19 billion needed to operationalize the Mbale Regional Campus and outstanding domestic arrears of shs4.9 billion since the 2021/2022 financial year.
Committee members emphasized the importance of balanced development across the country and urged the Ministry of Finance to release funds for the Mbale campus.
“The call for funds for the regional campus in Mbale is crucial to ensure balanced development in the country,” stated the committee members during the meeting with LDC officials.
Additionally, LDC officials expressed concerns about the increasing number of students applying for the bar course, with each academic year recording over 3,000 applicants, many holding first-class or second-class upper qualifications.
Following the LDC discussions, the Uganda Law Reform Commission defended its budget framework paper of shs21.74 billion for the 2024/2025 financial year during the committee meeting.
Legislators raised inquiries about translating the constitution into local languages, and the commission reported that it has translated the constitution into 13 languages.
As discussions continue, the spotlight remains on securing funding for the Law Development Centre’s Mbale Regional Campus, ensuring equitable access to legal education across regions.