As Ugandans continue to express discontent over the timing and manner in which government has given each Member of Parliament Shs200 million to buy vehicles, Butembe County legislator, David Livingstone Zijjan says government should have given each MP at least Shs300 million.
Zijjan says whoever ‘misadvised’ government to revise the budget for procurement of new vehicles for the legislators in the 11th parliament from Shs321 million to Shs200 million is an enemy of Uganda and the environment.
“Someone is misadvising this government. There is a law against importing vehicles older than 14 years. Most constituencies need off road terrain vehicles. Just buying such at CIF Kampala is $50,000 which is Shs175 million now taxes will be another about Shs130 million thereby making Shs305 million then tyres and service ” reads Zijjan’s post on the Busoga leaders forum.
The first time MP was responding to fellow leaders who were expressing their displeasure of the MPs taking home Shs200 million each at the time when the country is begging for money to procure #Covid 19 vaccines.
Zijjan argues that giving the MPs [only] Shs200 million is another way of saying go buy Dangerous Mechanical Condition vehicles which can’t be imported because they are older than 14 years.
Zijjan said the MPs would taken the Shs200 million only after revising the law to that bars the importation of cars older than 14 years.
“We need to revise the law and allow importation of 20 year old cars. The Shs200 million has showed that we are not at par with our East African neighbours,” he asserted before quickly vowing to even table the amendment on the floor of parliament.
Eagle Online couldn’t readily establish when Zijjan and his colleague were to reject the Shs200 million but another MP, Mariam Naigaga of Namutumba district says “we need a top up.”
Reports indicate that the Ministry of Finance has already released the Shs200 million to the accounts of each of the 520 MPs and 26 ex-officios in the 11th parliament.
Chris Obore the Director of Communications and Public Affairs Department in Parliament confirmed the money had by Thursday July 22 morning reached the legislators’ accounts.
“We received the money for MPs’ car ……. it has already been paid to them. It’s the same amount – Shs200 million that MPs of the 10th parliament got and it’s a one-off payment in five years.
Members of the public especial those on social media say such comments as those of Zijjan are angering.
“I am not against the Shs200 million. They deserve it. But if MPs complain that it’s not enough. We are in a worse economic depression. No single day for many years has the central business area been totally forbade to be accessed by the business community. It’s a crisis already. I would humbly beg Shs200 million to be enough,” said Jillian Nakato a Democratic Party Youth Leader in Jinja.