Kasaija noted that the finance ministry is hunting for Sh165bn to enable the government to give MPs Sh300 million for a car purchase in the 11th Parliament.
Each Member of Parliament (MP) for the coming term will receive over Shs300 million to help them purchase a car according to a confirmation from the Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija.
In an interview with journalists on Tuesday, Kasaija noted that the finance ministry is hunting for Sh165bn to enable the government to give MPs a motor vehicle allowance in the 11th Parliament.
He said that this money will be divided among all the 520 newly elected MPs. Kasaija explained that the money will help the legislators more so the first-timers to sort their transport issues.
“Every MP must get a car. Especially the new ones but the amount will depend on what the Parliamentary Commission determines. If we have the money we will provide, if we do not have the money we can give half, or a quarter then the MP can go and determine what type of car he can get,” Kasaija stressed.
According to the Budget Framework Paper for 2021/ 2022, the requirement to give a car to each MP is captured among the critical but unfunded priorities with the other captured prerequisite being the compensation for cattle in Acholi, Lango and Teso.
In reference to the URN article, the 10th Parliament government spent nearly 110bn shillings on motor vehicle funds awarded to MPs.
The money was released in two instalments with MPs getting 100m shillings each in October 2016 following a release of 64.5bn shillings, MPs were to get an additional 100m each following release of 45.8 billion shillings in June 2017.
This comes at a time when President Museveni in a recent speech following his triumph in the 2021 presidential elections warned that they are not going to allow the 11th Parliament to operate extravagantly like it’s predecessors.
Museveni said that in the past, legislators have found it easy to pass bills increasing their allowances and emoluments, however, he promised that this will not be the case during his sixth term.
Last year following the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country, a similar incident happened in parliament when the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga allocated each legislator Shs20 million purportedly to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda.
The news was not well received by the President who accused the MPs of trying to divert Ugandans from focusing on the bigger fight against Covid-19.
Museveni was quoted regarding the act as poor planning from the house to allocate themselves money at a time when many Ugandans were struggling to survive amidst the pandemic.
“I am very thankful to Ugandans; they have responded to the Shs20 million allocated to each MP that caused confusion. It is bad planning but secondly, there were also legal and constitutional issues involved. It would be morally reprehensible to give themselves money for personal use when the country is in such a crisis and it’s totally unacceptable to the NRM,” Museveni said then.