Opinion: MPs Security Detail is prepared to be modern day Santana Scandal!
Shiish, there are just some news that doesn’t capture your eyes quick enough. I have read the letter, but didn’t capture all the details, neither the costs. However, there was several of gentleman at the Daily Monitor, that did. Therefore, I am writing here today, because of the possible cost of buying cars for MPs new security detail. This has been ordered by the President and his words is law. No matter how expensive or how insane it is.
Here is the case from today:
“On June 29, President Museveni ordered Finance minister Matia Kasaija to urgently procure bullet-proof cars with “sharp shooters” from the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) to protect lives of the MPs against what he termed “terrorists”. However, he did not give specifics on the cost of the vehicles and other related expenditures. Daily Monitor interviews with car manufacturers revealed that a 2017/18 model bullet-proof Land Cruiser pick-up costs about $520,000 (about Shs1.9b) while a 2017/18 model bullet-proof Hilux pick-up costs about $166,000 (Shs630m). Therefore to procure bullet-proof Land Cruisers for the 456 MPs at Shs1.9b each, the government would pay out Shs866b while to acquire 2017/18 bullet-proof Hilux model at Shs630m, it would cost government Shs287b” (Solomon Arinaitwe & Moses Kyeyune – ‘MPs security cars to cost Shs1 trillion’ 13.07.2018 link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/MPs-security-cars-cost-Shs1-trillion/688334-4660322-shcp27z/index.html).
This here deal is made for corruption and for ghost costs appearing out of nowhere. This here is just built for that. It is amazing if the government starts procuring, knowing with its history and misuse of state funds. This is the perfect blend, buying vehicles and add-ons on the spread-sheet, claim later added cost without explaining where the funds went. If not order things that never appear. That is also a beauty.
With this in mind, here is the old story that could be re-produced by buying the security detail:
“However, in mid-1988 when Balaki Kirya, minister of state in office of the President in charge of security went to Spain to sign an agreement, he found 260 Santana ‘Land-rovers’ valued at $6.1 million had already been shipped while the agents/lobbyists were negotiating for the importation of another 260 ‘Land-rovers’ now valued at $8 million. The saga leaked to the press. The Weekly Topic of May 3, 1989 had a lead story: ‘Old schemers at their game again, STOP MISUSING PRESIDENT OFFICE’. When contacted, officials from the National Treasury said the purchase was done without the knowledge of the Bank of Uganda (BoU). However, from the BoU archives, on April 8, 1988, a memorandum on the foreign exchange position, by the governor indicated among other payments to be made in the year was for the 260 Land-rovers from Spain for the President’s office and 600 Land-rovers for the ministry of Defence as well as the army uniform from Spain” (Eriasa Mukiibi Sserunjogi – ‘High-profile corruption scandals registered under NRM’ 24.02.2013 link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/High-profile-corruption-scandals-registered-under-NRM/688334-1702448-ndh6w6z/index.html).
I wouldn’t be amazed if the Ministry of Defence, the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister would make a scheme worth paying off for. They would secure kick-backs and additional funds, this is a too important project and the safety of the MPs is the highest priority. Everyone knows that. Not that this is misusing of funds and making sure the MPs are driving around like hostages in their Republic. Nah, that is not important at all.
That the 456 MPs who already are allocated money for cars and upkeep of them. Still, they need a second one, with specialized produced safety gear, seems more like they are traveling past war-zones, than friendly neighbourhoods, what about the actual people that live there, are they safe?
Well, that was bit of subject. However, the reality is that this is made for corruption. Someone in the regime will eat and use this as package to get loaded. We can just wonder who and who will be put in charge, who will fake needed equipment and who will give away knock-offs instead of the real deal.
This MPs security deal can be a gold-mine to the right individual. However, whoever that might be, he has to remember to give the king his cut. That meaning the President in the State House, if not your see quickly the other side of the barrel. He has no issues getting rid of people. That is proven in history too.
I wish I could be hopeful, but to me, they are cooking another Santana Scandal. This time it might be the Hilux Scandal or the Land Cruiser Scandal of 2018.
I just know we will get there, but how, that is up to the magicians within the Kings court. Peace.