President Museveni’s order to provide army snipers and bullet-proof escort cars for 426 MPs sparked outrage from Ugandans, many urging that this money could be put to better use.
Estimates by Daily Monitor put cost of bullet Land Cruiser pick-up at about $520,000 (about Ugx. 1.9b) while a 2017/18 model bullet-proof Hilux pick-up costs about $166,000 (about Ugx. 630m).
To procure bullet-proof Land Cruisers for the 456 MPs at Ugx. 1.9b each, the government would pay out Ugx. 866b while to acquire 2017/18 bullet-proof Hilux model at Ugx. 630m, it would cost government Ugx. 287b.
The Ugx. 866b for the MPs’ escort vehicles is higher than the entire 2018/19 budget allocation to the Ministry of Agriculture, which stands at Shs831b. Agriculture employs about 70 per cent of the population and contributes more than 20 per cent to GDP.
Ugandans react to president’s order
Tamale Mirundi: Why waste such huge amounts? There are cheap options. We can opt to use witchcraft which is a cheaper to find the people who are killing our people. Mirundi said while on Impact FM 98.4 on Friday morning.
Mugisha Muntu : If the idea is to really protect MPs (and not regime survival), then the place to start is not with armoured cars and snipers, but a listening ear to the people’s will and a determination to put
Hon. Beatrice Anywar: “It is true there is a lot of tension in the country. Many people have been killed, including MPs. This means there is need for a solution. What is important is that we must secure everyone, not only leaders. In fact it becomes dangerous if MPs are protected from their own voters.”
Junior Farouk: Tanzani has Air Tanzania, Rwanda has Rwanda air, Kenya has Kenya Airways and Uganda is buying lead cars with guards for MPs. I thought all citizens we all need to be protected by the ruling system. For Those who want private security to safeguard their lives over how they did if its so, let them go to private security companies and hire with their money but not our taxes
Hon. Winnie Kiiza (Leader of Opposition in Parliament): “It is bad planning because people will think we only think about ourselves as leaders. When we are talking about security, it should be for the whole population. We need security for everybody because if they die, we feel the impact, they are our relatives, our voters and we cannot leave them out. This is wasteful expenditure.”
Arinaitwe Rwakajara (Workers, NRM) : “This is a decision of the President and Commander-In Chief who heads the country’s security. Only the President knows its viability and as a [Parliamentary] commission, we have not discussed the security of members, but we should not take it lightly if the people have been threatening to attack Parliament.”