Independent Member of Parliament- representing Ayivu County in Arua- Hon. Bernard Atiku has said the Shs10 billion allocated to legislators to fight Covid-19 is little and should be increased.
Hon. Atiku’s tatement comes when Ugandans are up in arms against MPs who they accuse of greed.
Each legislator is expected to receive Shs20 million off the Shs10 billion. Atiku argues that constituents will take all the cash and there will be need for more.
Atiku is quoted: “Please allow me to give you my phone for one hour and you receive the calls and thereafter you will tell me whether shs20m is anything to yap about.
We need more than shs20m as per the demands I get through phone calls I get every day.
The challenge is that this Constituency on Facebook is different from the official Constituency like mine called Ayivu.
One is virtually led by the person who posts on Facebook while the other one is real led by an MP with physical address both in the Constituency and in parliament.”
The MP was reacting to a post by a one Alinga Norah Owaraga’s post on Facebook in which she wrote:
“Is it true Parliament of Uganda has allocated itself 10 billion shillings to continue business?
Anyway, this will not be the first time, sadly.
For allyou members of parliament who see fit to waste our resources on policy and legislation that makes Uganda worse off, your time will come.”
Earlier the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga explained why legislators allocated Shs10 billion to fight COVID-19.
Kadaga said the money was part of the Shs304 billion supplementary budget passed by Parliament and they took a decision to take the cut because they [MPs] are also actively taking part in the fight against the pandemic so they needed facilitation.
The Speaker also said individual MPs also released their ambulance to bolster the district taskforces in the COVID-19 fight so part of the Shs10 billion will be used to maintain the ambulances and provide fuel and allowances for the drivers.
“We are looking into constituents’ needs by providing food, water tanks among others,” she said while appearing on NBS TV on Wednesday.
Parliament is currently under fire after the MPs this week quietly allocated themselves Shs10 billion, even cutting the health budget by Shs5 billion to come up with the figure.
On Wednesday, four time presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye criticized MPs for taking such a move.
According to Dr Besigye, whereas leaders in other countries are contributing to the government in this period, those in Uganda are busy exploiting taxpayers.
“Surely, what’s wrong with Uganda’s leaders? Everywhere in the world, leaders are donating their earnings to help the COVID19 fight,” he said.