unhealthy nurse http://ccalliance.org/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/modules/comments.php geneva;”>Low attendance by MPs has become a practice. Furthermore, analysis shows that less than 50 MPs are actively involved in debates in Parliament.
Actually at least a third (125 MPs) have never spoken on the floor of Parliament. Again most of the MPs are accused of dodging their constituencies yet they receive monthly mileage to travel to their constituencies.
President Museveni recently admitted that the districts are too many which indirectly implied that the District Women MPs are too many too and has vowed not to create more new districts.
The salary of one district woman MP can pay at least 100 primary school teachers at a monthly salary of Shs 200,000 and 100 teachers can run 10 schools in a district.
For a population of just 35 million people it’s time to re-ignite the debate of having a small and effective Parliament. I could propose 75 MPs representing 75 constituencies with each constituency having an average population of 500,000. If we provide for 25 MPs to represent special interest groups like the youth, women etc then we could have a Parliament of 100 MPs.
This would also require raising the minimum academic qualification for someone to be an MP to a Bachelor’s degree instead of S6 to improve the quality of the debates. Reducing Parliament to just 100 MPs, would allow the country to save money for the 275 MPs, which is approximately Shs 5.5 billion per month and Shs 66 billion per year.
This is enough money to recruit 27,500 primary school teachers at a monthly salary of UGX 200,000 or 18,333 primary school teachers at a monthly salary of Shs 300,000.
A similar computation applies if part of this money is used to recruit nurses that are grossly lacking in the health centres countrywide.
In the event that we cannot win the argument of reducing the size of Parliament then let us advocate for ranking MPs. For instance in academia, a PhD holder can be a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor or Professor. These ranks attract different salaries and allowances. So we could have MP, Senior MP, Principal MP or Professional MP.
After the electorate has voted for the MPs they would then face a Parliamentary vetting committee comprised of experts from outside Parliament to rank them on the basis of their qualifications, experience, debating skills, critical thinking skills, research skills etc.
If the MP, Senior MP, Principal MP and Professional MP earned a consolidated monthly pay of UGX 5 million, 10 million, 15 million and 20 million respectively then the government would still save a lot of money despite having a big Parliament as the majority of the MPs would fall under the category of MP and Senior MP.
At the end of each session, MPs would be given a bonus proportional to their performance in Parliament but in any case not more than half of the monthly consolidated pay earned by the MP.