The Parliament of Uganda has over three hundred elected representatives of the people.
The MPs represent counties and are elected for a five-year term to make laws. However, the have instead taken to attending burials, weddings, fundraisings, in the process almost negating their core responsibilities that also include playing an oversight role by holding the executive accountable.
The number of bills pending debate in the august house is alarming, yet these people continue to drain our coffers through untimely monetary increases with reckless abandon.
During their initial days in the House, members of the Ninth Parliament indicated they would be a different breed of leaders; a group determined to serve the electorate. It worked for some time.
But in a strange twist, their raw instincts were manifested; first, they got money for cars, a whopping 130 million. Then came the clamour for increased remuneration, a development that sent Ugandans up in arms to protest against the offensive greed. The MPs back-pedalled but did not drop the idea altogether.
Now in their last year, the MPs revived their interest and in what appeared as a well-calculated ruse when the Parliamentary Commission first announced increases in remuneration for the staff at Parliament.
Then the big ‘heist’; they also announced their other chance of raiding the treasury for a 40 per cent increase on their travel allowances, orchestrated through a supposed increase in fuel prices.
The Ministry of Finance should scrutinize this recent ploy and act responsibly because the move is plain annoying, and surely the country doesn’t need people who behave like leeches!
But what is more annoying is that their level of debate is also suspect; this revelation was made by none other than the Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, who sometime back decried the MPs poor debating standards in the House.
So, the question stands: Do we need a bloated Parliament?
Over to you Mr Taxpayer