Parliament to Spend Ugx 64 billion on MPs Vehicles

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In short
Initial reports indicated that the money would be held until courts dispose off all electoral petitions. Up to 118 petitions were filed against Members of Parliament in the aftermath of the 2016 parliamentary election.

Parliament will spend over 64 billion Shillings on the purchase of vehicles for the members of the Tenth parliament. Each of the 427 Members of Parliament will receive an allocation of 150 million Shillings, according to a budget outline by the Parliamentary Commission.

The figure is up from the 38.6 billion Shillings spent on vehicles in the Ninth parliament which had a total of 375 members. Each vehicle for Members of the ninth parliament cost 103 million Shillings.

Chris Obore, the director of information at Parliament, said the funds will be released regardless of ongoing petitions against some members.

Initial reports indicated that the money would be held until courts dispose off all electoral petitions. Up to 118 petitions were filed against Members of Parliament in the aftermath of the 2016 parliamentary election.

But Obore told URN that parliament cannot deny legislators their benefits because of pending petitions.

"We shall give the MPs what is due to them. We can't stop paying MPs money for vehicles and other emoluments because of petitions in court", Obore said.
 
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On the likely loss to be met by the tax payer when an MP who has already received money for vehicle loses a seat, Obore said that the duty of the parliamentary commission is to take care of the welfare of MPs and staff to parliament and that only a law can enable the commission to reduce loses and recover vehicles once an MP loses a seat.

Obore added that Ipads will be given to every MP who is on the Clerk's record in two weeks' time regardless whether they have election petitions against them or not.
 
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Amolatar Woman MP, Doreen Ruth Amule said that the delayed payment of the vehicle allowance is stressing to the new MPs who have not had cars before since they have no means of transport.
 
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About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.