Uganda: MPs to get Sh150m (U.S.$44,500) each to buy new vehicles

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Yoweri Museveni. Photo: Reuters

This is a Africa Reports:-August 18, 2016 — Barely three weeks after it emerged that Uganda invested U.S.$88,000 in a “porn-detection machine”, news which riled many Ugandans, the country is making headline again for a controversial plan to pay members of parliament (MPs) Sh150m (U.S.$ 44,500) each to buy new vehicles. The decision has angered many people, criticised as a classic case of profligacy and conspicuous consumption.

Barely three weeks after it emerged that Uganda invested U.S.$88,000 in a “porn-detection machine”, news which riled many Ugandans, the country is in the news again for a controversial plan to pay members of parliament (MPs) Sh150m (U.S.$44,500) each to buy new vehicles.

According to New Vision, as early as October, each legislator will receive sh150m to purchase a vehicle, and government will spend a total of Sh64b (about U.S.19 million) for a total of 427 legislators.

By and large, the decision has been welcomed by lawmakers but it has angered many people, and criticised as a classic case of conspicuous consumption.
Uganda is facing many challenges, with reports that local governments and government agencies are surviving on shoestring budgets. In April, the country’s only Cobalt-60 radiation machine broke down, which put the the lives of 75 percent of the 44 000 cancer patients who require radiotherapy at risk.

The government is yet to import a replacement, and the soonest a new machine is expected is in a year’s time. Cancer patients in Uganda have had to seek treatment in Kenya and other countries following the break down.

It is against this backdrop, that social media users have continued to criticise the decision to spend such a huge figure on cars, when there are other pressing matters, which require urgent government funding.

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