A Letter to the Electorate
Sh150m car for a Member of Parliament:
Ugandans from different walks of life are bitter that each MP is to receive Sh150M for a car and I wish to make the following observations:
1. The anger and disappointment by Ugandans is quite understandable and justified given that the country is faced with extreme funding gaps in crucial areas like healthy and education.
2. There is a general sense of betrayal realising that even opposition MPs seem to acquiesce in the ongoing poor prioritization of needs by Government.
3. There are also genuine cases of double facilitation for MPs who are also Government Ministers, Leader of Opposition, whom the tax payer has already given a chauffeur driven car(s).
4. There may be wasted funds on facilitation for constituencies with Members who have already lost their sits in Parliament and are clinging on hope in the appeals lodged in the court of Appeal.
STILL WE NEED TO REFLECT AND ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:
- World over, MPs are paid handsomely compared to other workers because the nature of the job requires exactly that….but the question must be; does Uganda, small and poor as we are, need to have the 435 MPs or poor as we are as a country, should we really give a Member of Parliament Sh150M or we would have settled for around Sh50M?
- Are the people opposed to paying MPs handsomely or the outcry is because after all the output by MPs in Uganda is far below the expectation of the public?
- Sh150M is definitely a lot of money by Ugandan standards but has the public been told that it’s this amount that takes the MP through the entire five years and it includes money for repairs and servicing plus payment of the driver’s salary? (Some MPs only get to save by chauffeuring themselves, which is so dangerous!
- When the public makes financial demands from candidates and sitting Political leaders where else do they expect them to get the money apart from earning from privileges like this one?
- If a single MP or the opposition refuses to take the money what is the possibility that the same will end up funding something in Mulago?
ACCORDINGLY….Ugandans should know that we shall have to overhaul the country’s systems to get our priorities right.
In 2011, I was a lone voice against the Sh103M that was given to us for cars…I was isolated condemned and thereafter sidelined as colleagues accused me of being a populist. I have learnt my lesson…I will silently pick our money and share it out between a modest car for me and a small project for my people.
Don’t complain, it all started with you the voters.
The writer is the Member of Parliament for Mukono Municipality and Shadow minister for Local Government