MPs will bag Shs200m instead of Shs150m as had earlier been budgeted by the Parliamentary Commission, it has emerged
A Parliament official privy to the decisions by the Parliament Commission told Daily Monitor that the deal to increase the MPs’ vehicle money by Shs50 million was reached at during a meeting with the President about a fortnight ago
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said during the meeting, the Commission is said to have tabled the proposal seeking for more money.
The source also said the idea to ask the President for the extra Shs50m was sold to the Parliamentary Commission by new commissioner, Mr Peter Ogwang, who, the source said, reasoned that “the President will allow our request.”
This means Parliament will spend Shs85 billion on the 427 legislators, without considering those recently elected from the new districts. The money will be given in two instalments; the first batch of Shs100m will be sent to the MPs’ accounts next month and the last batch in March next year.Follow @newslexpoint
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Mr Chris Obore, the director of communication and public affairs at Parliament, confirmed the increment but said he is not privy to the details of the discussions in the meeting with the President since he did not attend.
“That decision was arrived at in a meeting between the Commission and the President. I did not attend it and I do not have the details,” Mr Obore said.
“But the Commission had wanted government to buy cars for MPs and provide them with a driver plus all maintenance so that the car remains Parliament property,” he added. According to daily monitor, Backbench commissioner Cecilia Ogwal (Dokolo) said she is not aware of the increase and referred this newspaper to the ministry of Finance.
“I am just getting that information from you right now. Maybe they (Finance) have the money which they have not yet informed the back bench commissioners,” Ms Ogwal said.
Asked whether the ministry had secured the funds for the first batch to be wired next month, Finance ministry spokesperson Jimmy Mugunga said in a WhatsApp message that he was “not aware”.
There has been public backlash towards MPs receiving money to buy vehicles, with many saying the legislators should be able to buy their own cars off their salaries.Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda executive director Cissy Kagaba referred to the increase as a blatant abuse of tax payers’ money.
“Who actually monitors whether these guys actually buy cars worth that much?” Ms Kagaba said.
She added that the money could be a move to help the legislators offset debts they amassed during the campaign period.
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