This week the 529 members of the Ugandan parliament received a total of 25 million euros per capita, up from 200 million Ugandan shillings or about 48,000 euros per person. This amount is designed for the purchase of cars for selected officers. The announcement goes bad as the country has been hit hard by the corona virus crisis.
Government spokesman Afvono Obondo backed the decision, saying members of parliament “ The right to transport “, A trigger” Long tradition .
The result does not suit everyone’s taste. Human rights activist Sarah Fried condemns the move in the wake of the Govt-19 epidemic, which is raging in the country.
« Priority is given to people’s immunizations, screening tests and treatment of patients with covid disease … But when we look at the government’s decision to buy cars from delegates, we see that the country’s priorities are reversed due to the lack of essential medicines and oxygen in hospitals when there is not enough money for vaccinations. We do not care about the fate of the people, but rather the comfort of political leaders », Laments the activist.
It later recalls: ” Ministers already have two vehicles with driving and petrol paid for by taxpayers. Parliament also allocated money for a third vehicle for them … always at the expense of taxpayers. So even if these cars are presented as a need for new MPs, ministers should not benefit from these benefits. »
“A criminal and immoral affair”
Anger erupted in the media and on social media. In 2018, a similar move provoked general denial. Protesters also stormed parliament. But according to Ugandan politician and columnist Joseph Ochino, the protests will not change anything.
« For 35 years, this country has been operating with a policy of gifts and benefits. The government does not care about the wishes of the people or their needs. It is not the vote of the people who influence politics, but the cables and lobbies when the majority of the people have no voice.
But the problem is that this scandal comes at a time when the Govt-19 epidemic is particularly worrying. The people are so poor, the epidemic worsens the situation, which makes this business not only criminal, but also very immoral.
However, a section of the Ugandan population is accustomed to it. Because we have been ruled so cruelly by an organization for so long, people sometimes get very upset. They can demonstrate, but nothing leads to protest. In 2018, people protested, but what happened? nothing. Will current dissatisfaction outweigh current controversy? I doubt it. »