Members of Uganda’s Parliament seem like they are always in a hurry to fleece the tax payer, or else how can one describe their approval of Shs38.6 billion for the so-called ‘fuel arrears’ that have even been backdated to 2011?
When members of the Ninth Parliament came to the august House in 2011, many Ugandans were upbeat, saying the crop was the best thing to happen to the country in a long time. In short, previous MPs had performed dismally, disappointed the citizenry and were not worth any commendation. But our relief was short-lived as the new group set out on hemorrhaging spree, and this Ninth Parliament might go down in history as one which pilfered taxpayers’ money with reckless abandon.
At the beginning of their term, they were facilitated with Shs103 million to buy cars which would ease their transport problems, which is okay. But the way this was done is suspect, because the money was deposited on individual accounts, making accountability difficult. One wonders why the Parliamentary Commission did not ask the MPs’ to provide details of their preferred vehicle, listed them and then issue a tender notice, inviting suppliers to deliver the said brands to the respective beneficiaries.
Then they bought Ipads for themselves at a whopping cost of Shs2 million each and even contemplated setting up a ‘child care centre’ at Parliament to care for new mothers! It was an abuse on the citizens’ intellect!
Currently, our MPs are among the highest paid Parliamentarians in the world, taking home close to US$6,000 in salaries and emoluments a month. This money is more than ten times what a Ugandan doctor earns in month but considering their output, one is hard-pressed to justify the hefty perks our MPs enjoy.
Further, the argument that the MPs are getting Shs100 million ‘fuel arrears’ because ‘the rate at which they were given mileage allowances was below the pump prices’ does not make a lot of sense to several other groups of workers who don’t earn a ‘minimum wage’ or even a living wage allowance.
Well, Ugandans don’t need parasitic representatives and it is time other Ugandan workers startedasking whether it is in order for these MPs to debate and determine their perks, lest we will work for the rest of our lives just to support a privileged class whose output is even the subject of ridiculous banter in various fora.