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Special Reports

Rwabwogo Slams Gov't Over Shs36bn Parliament Parking

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web dosage http://comotenerunabuenaereccion.com/wp-includes/media-template.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>In a critical article carried by the New Vision this week, Rwabwogo said “in spending sh36b (about $14m) to build a ‘parking palace’ for vehicles of MPs, the NRM parliamentarians confirm to Ugandans the mis-prioritisation of what is important for the country. “

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Rwabwogo also wondered how President Museveni could attend the commissioning of the complex, saying such a move reflected “unstatemanly decisions.”

“And as if all this is fine, a head of state is invited to inaugurate the parking lot; how much production does a parking lot of parliament add on to our national production index?” wondered Rwabwogo.

“Is this not the glorification of unproductive consumption? Are these not unstatemanly decisions reflecting just how much we are willing in the party to make tradeoffs that are no longer linked to the growth needs of the country!”

Such articles are rare from members of the First Family.

The article is likely to touch off heated debate in the public domain about government’s priorities.

Speaking at the function early this month, Museveni said the new state-of-the-art multi-level parking lot had been funded internally with no contribution from donors.

“If the Government of Uganda is able to fund a project such as this one, in future, we shall be in position to cover our budget,” he said.

The President also promised that the issue of security in the Parking Lot will be handled to avoid any circumstances that may arise.

Below is Rwabwogo’s article as carried in New Vision


I was intrigued by a news story recently of the President launching or inaugurating or commissioning (I am not sure a correct word exists for this kind of activity as it is unprecedented) of a parking ‘palace’ for vehicles of MPs.

In spending sh36b (about $14m) to build a ‘parking palace’ for vehicles of MPs, the NRM parliamentarians confirm to Ugandans the mis-prioritisation of what is important for the country.

With over 250 MPs, wouldn’t someone expect a quality decision about the future of the building that houses Parliament than what was made? If you have an old building fit, probably, to be a museum for our children to visit and learn how colonialists governed Uganda, do you reinforce it with four levels of an underground parking just to take in four wheel drive cars for MPs? Wouldn’t one rather spend this money by making a deposit on a new parliamentary outfit that signifies our independence of mind and action?

The current State House structure in Entebbe cost about sh100b ($39m) and took three years to complete. The expenditure on the parking lot for MPs is just about 38 percent of this, meaning that within three years and with good planning, we would have a spanking new parliamentary building.

The current building was meant for fewer than 100 MPs. It now holds close to 340 legislators. This is neither healthy nor secure for the MPs. It is strange decisions such as an early guarantee of vehicle parking ahead of other necessities that leaves one wondering about the quality of decision making in the Movement.

How was this decision reached and how much consultation goes on in the party ahead of these kinds of expenses?

A new building to house Parliament with good access roads, gardens, a spacious parking lot, built in the district of Luwero or Nakasongola so that the MPs can spend time deliberating instead of running errands and dodging parliamentary sessions, would have been a fantastic idea.

The building in Kampala not only encourages dodging sessions, a thing that costs the country so much, but is just no longer tenable after 50 years of independence.

Does anyone in the NRM think this is a bad idea? Was this matter researched before choosing to dig further in the same place instead of expansion out of the city? Wouldn’t someone have challenged this decision?

There has been total silence on both sides of the aisle, signifying an undercurrent of selfishness. Do we not know how much a decision of this nature could change the district where the location is made to decongest Kampala?

The decision to move the House would mean better roads made progressively, the private sector investing in hotels, tourism growth in the area, real estate appreciating and spreading urbanisation, restaurants with local dishes would abound and the economy of the area would be significantly boosted.

Why would this be hard to see and people continue to fi ll up plastic seats in a small colonial building; a relic of the past that only continues to remind our children of the 60 years of English domination?

And as if all this is fine, a head of state is invited to inaugurate the parking lot; how much production does a parking lot of parliament add on to our national production index? Is this not the glorification of unproductive consumption? Are these not unstatemanly decisions reflecting just how much we are willing in the party to make tradeoffs that are no longer linked to the growth needs of the country!

I read that this decision was informed by MPs ‘struggling to find parking around the premises and their vehicles getting clamped’.

Is this really a thing that should inform a decision to spend sh36b? Now if you do not clamp MPs cars, whose cars should you be clamping? This elevation of politics over the business of the country is really dangerous.

Are MPs children that they are unable to pick their parking bills? Were they elected to find parking? Why does humility go through the window as soon as people take political seats?

Probably, many of the MPs are not business people and, therefore, are unaware of how it feels to receive a tax assessment every 15 days and the struggle entrepreneurs go through to make the payroll, keep the offices open and pay taxes.

If they walked this painful road, the NRM leaders and politicians would think twice before sanctioning such illogical decisions.

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