KAMPALA – The National Unity Platform acting President John Baptist Nambeshe has announced that the party’s Members of Parliament will take the UGX. 200 million meant for MPs vehicles but spend the money on constituency projects targeting health, education and youth empowerment.
Mr. Nambeshe also opposition chief whip in Parliament in a statement on Friday July 23 slammed the government’s wasteful and extravagance expenditure on vehicles at such a time is a disaster — depicting it as profligacy in a country struggling to buy vaccines to stem a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parliament released the money to members to buy new vehicles this week and each lawmaker was given UGX 200 million.
Uganda has 529 members of parliament (MPs).
Returning the money to them isn’t a good option
Mr. Nambeshe said that whereas the public is angry over the money, the option of returning it to government treasury was discussed and rejected by the party leadership because it would be misused by the same regime.
Instead, he said, NUP would devote a substantial amount of the UGX. 200m grant towards people’s welfare at a constituency level.
“Ordinarily public services are supposed to be carried out by the government, but that happens when you have a government that cares for the people. It is in this regard that most NUP MPs have already been undertaking projects in their constituencies aimed at elevating the conditions of their people,” he said.
Nambeshe said individual NUP MPs will continue to carry out the activities in their respective constituencies, mostly targeting; health, education, agriculture, and youth empowerments.
The civil society have in the past criticised the government for splashing on things like a lavish swearing ceremony for Museveni in May while failing to procure vaccines or buy food for vulnerable groups hit by the lockdown.
“The money would have been used to plan towards re-opening the country and the only way to prepare for re-opening is vaccination,” said Mukuzi Muhereza, secretary general of Uganda Medical Association, a national umbrella body for all health workers.
“We see urgency in solving politicians’ problems but no urgency in funding medical emergencies.”
Uganda so far has recorded a total of 91,355 cases of COVID-19 and 2,483 deaths, latest data from the health ministry shows.