Politics

Government Backs FDC’s Move to Block MP Cars

Uganda Parliament

A rift is apparently widening inside Uganda’s leading opposition party FDC, viagra sale http://corpuschristimiami.com/wp-content/plugins/styles-with-shortcodes/includes/class.sws_mce.php which resolved last week to table a motion blocking the provision of vehicles by government to Members of Parliament.

The motion that will soon be tabled by FDC’s spokesperson Semujju Nganda has received almost zero support from FDC MPs at parliament; many of who claim that the party’s working committee took the decision without consulting them.

In one of those uncommon occurrences, http://comeduraredipiu.com/wp-content/plugins/thrive-leads/tcb/editor/lb_landing_pages.php the NRM government has come out in support of the opposition party’s proposal, in a bid to save the tax payer up to 60billion Shillings that has been set aside for the car project.

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The government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo remarked today that the 10th parliament, like its predecessors has not made any effort to appear selfless in the face of the public.

“People should see them as applying some sense of equity. But they first give themselves and when it is the health workers and teachers, they only giving it lip service,” he said while appearing on the weekly Capital Gang show.

Stating that he was in agreement with FDC’s proposal, Opondo went on to remind the 10th Parliament legislators of how a few months ago, they moved to amend the constitution to circumvent a law suit that sought to tax their huge earnings.

“When somebody took parliament to court about taxation, didn’t the 9th parliament amend the law, to exempt itself and circumvent the income tax? That is selfishness,” he said.

“Parliament has been taking positions that benefit you first, and you think about the public later.”

Following the widespread public backlash and protests about the cars, the Opposition FDC are proposing that government gives out loans instead to MPs to purchase their own private cars, which should not be taxed. This is the policy in neighboring Rwanda, and FDC believes that this will perfectly work out in Uganda.

The FDC spokesperson Nganda said on the same radio show, “In the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), MPs buy their own vehicles, but these are tax free. In Ethiopia it is extreme because MPs there earn 200 US Dollars a month, and they travel in public transport buses. In Rwanda, they give you a loan to buy a vehicle but you don’t pay taxes. This is what we are proposing.”

Nganda and FDC’s proposal is premised on the fact that Uganda MPs are paid a great deal of money in salaries and allowances and that this should be sufficient to cater for their own transport.

He explained, “You are paid a salary and you are also paid allowances. The same reason we don’t have a government house is because part of the package is part of your salary. My proposal is that transport should be treated the same way because we stay in our own houses; you cannot demand that you be given a house in Kololo.”

But this proposal is being challenged by numerous FDC MPs, including the former Leader of Opposition Hon Ogenga Latigo. Some of them threatened this week to form their own party if the Najjanankumbi leadership insists on forcing this position on them.

Hon. Abdu Katuntu, while responding to his fellow party member Nganda today said he was in strong disagreement.

“I don’t agree with Semujju who says we should use loan vehicles to do public work. Why should I? I cannot use my money to do public work,” he said.

Katuntu further argued that the public backlash in being targeted to a wrong parliament because they have not even formally discussed their own pay.

“This parliament has not discussed emoluments; whatever this parliament is earning today was discussed and passed by the previous Parliament. It is wrong and this populism should end,” he said.

“It was the 6th Parliament that last discussed MPs’ emoluments when Isaac Musumba was the state minister of finance. All these emoluments have always been proposed by government.”

Citing other government officials such as the coordinators of the Operation Wealth Creation at county level, who have been given brand new cars, Katuntu stressed, “For government officers like ourselves to be able to do our work we must be able to move. The debate now should be on whether we should be given pickup trucks or motorcycles.”

FDC MPs opposed to this suggestion, have been warned by old party members and the party leadership that talking a different stance from that of the party is unhealthy and consequential.

The former Leader of Opposition Hon Wafula Oguttu who lost in the last elections warned, “When you are a leader you just do not talk anyhow. You first weigh and edit your words before you utter them. I am extremely disappointed by some of our FDC leaders in Parliament, colleagues i have hitherto held in very high regard”

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