Parliament Urged to Halt Proposed Allowances for Legislators


In short
ACCU Executive Director Cissy Kagaba says that the proposals are extremely intolerable, myopic and unsustainable.

Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda - ACCU, a coalition of civil society organizations and activists in the fight against corruption, is considering legal action against the Parliamentary Commission  over its proposal to introduce lunch and housing allowances for Members of Parliament.

The move follows proposals tabled before the legal and parliamentary affairs committee by the Clerk to Parliament Jane Kibirige detailing the commission's budget for the financial year 2016/2017.

In the budget, parliament is considering the introduction of a monthly lunch allowance amounting to two million Shillings and a housing allowance of three million Shillings for each legislator. The same proposals also show an increment to the vehicle allowance from the current 103 to 130 million Shillings. 

The tenth parliament will have 458 MPs, an increment of 73 legislators compared to the composition of the ninth parliament. This implies that the Ugandan tax payer will spend close to 60 billion Shillings to facilitate the transport needs of all legislators, and over 27 billion Shillings as annual expenditure for their housing and meal allowance. 

This is suggested on top of the current monthly income of about 20 million Shillings.

ACCU Executive Director Cissy Kagaba says that the proposals are extremely intolerable, myopic and unsustainable for Ugandan tax payers.
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Peter Wandera, the Executive Director of Transparency International Uganda, one of the coalitions member organizations says that the increment is contrary to the constitutional court ruling which stated that it is illegal for MPs to determine their own emoluments.
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Wandera adds that salaries for MPs should be determined by an independent salaries and remuneration board.


About the author

Beatrice Nyangoma
Beatrice Nyangoma values her independence as a journalist. This was one of her major considerations before she became a URN staffer in 2015.

Nyangoma says, "I like URN because it gives me room to decide what stories I want to work on. That is so important to me."

The URN Jinja bureau chief since July 2016, Nyangoma considers health matters a beat close to her heart. One of the highlights of her career so far were her exclusive interviews unveiling the rot in Mulago hospital in early 2016.

Nyangoma started out writing for the Red Pepper newspaper in 2011 in her final year of university. She was majorly a health reporter. In 2012, Nyangoma moved to Top Television as a health, business reporter and weekend news editor. She was also the assistant editorial manager of Kabarole Research and Resource Centre FM (KRC FM).