“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs led by Gen Jeje Odongo is appearing before the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament to answer different questions raised by the committee. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has raised concern over the poor state of fleet vehicle for transporting dignitaries. According to PS Vincent Bagiire, the Ministry is using old fleet from the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting which are “Nolonger fit for purpose” (Parliament of Uganda, 13.01.2022).
When reading this from the Parliament of Uganda handle on Twitter. I was boggled, because it was only last year when the Chinese Ambassador in Uganda handed over 70 vehicles to then Minister of Foreign Affairs Sam Kuteesa. That happened in the end of March ahead of summits, which was supposed to be held later in the year. The Chinese government spent 5 millions United States Dollars on these SUVs last year.
Therefore, when Gen. Odongo says the Foreign Ministry has “ancient” cars from the CHOGM summit. The state also bought another additional 80 vehicles ahead of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) in 2020. Therefore, the Ministry and the state should have vehicles in their car-lot. They have not only bought these 80, but gotten donated another additional 70 cars in the year after.
It seems to be the time to re-issue the statement from the Auditor General Report of 2021:
“Furthermore, I observed that 38 entities (76.0%) out of the 50 entities did not have a specific policy or guidelines on Motor vehicle management to guide the usage and eliminate theft, losses, wastage and misuse of motor vehicles. This was in addition to the absence of a comprehensive standardized fleet management policy of Government. Different aspects of government vehicles management are found in different policies and guidelines cited in various government documents, such as; the Uganda Public Service Standing Orders 2010, the Public Procurement and Disposal Act, 2014, and Treasury Instructions, 2017. This affects the entities’ ability to address the unique motor vehicle management challenges which may not be envisaged in the standing Orders and Treasury Instructions” (OAG February 2021).
So, it seems like the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has no control or policy in concern to their car park. They are one of these entities with no management of the car park. That is very clear by Odongo’s statement. As it is easy to see the Ministry have purchased and gotten donated in total 160 vehicles or cars in the last three years alone. The state and the Ministry be able to keep it up and general up-keep.
Unless, the state has suddenly issued these for others and given them to other state affiliates like appointed district officials or whatnot. That’s how it looks like to me. Because, how do you base you vehicle-park on CHOGM in 2022. When your own Ministry have bought vehicles ahead of the CPC and donated from China the year later?
Are there no accountability for the ministry and could Sam, the man just drive away with all of these to the sun-set and sell them on a car-lot in Mbarara? Because, what happened to all of them or they given to the former Ministers employees at Entebbe International Airport?
Since, cars cannot vanish, unless it is part of a Hollywood script or a car lost at a plot forgotten by the state. In such a manner of which, Mobutu had hidden vehicles and his administration held vehicles in foreign missions, which years later was found in forgotten garage abroad. Therefore, is that the issue of the Ministry in Uganda too?
Because, how do you loose 160 vehicles in the time span of about 3 years? Peace.
Today Pastor Martin Ssempa wrote a piece for the Daily Monitor called ‘Why MPs need seven-year term to serve the country’. This is happening as the Constitutional Amendment is up for prolonging and making the Parliamentary Terms longer from the current 5 years to 7 years.
His arguments are artificial at best. They are the supposed sugar-coated flattery attempt to seal the deal on a third date. This isn’t the sort of arguments that hold any water in true argument.
The Members of Parliament have 5 years and its been a prefixed time for years. He uses the costs for running and the debt the MPs are getting for running their campaigns. So, it is a better investment for them, if they get 7 years instead of 5 years. He also says its a better investment to let them ride the same paid vehicle they are getting for that long instead of the now 5 years.
There are more simple way of stopping those expenses, right?
The first you can do. Is to revise the laws and make it less expensive to run as a candidate. The current MPs can ensure the costs of being an MP goes down. Have less allowances and have less perks. The MPs can usher in legislation that stops the commercialization of politics and the campaigns. Alas, that isn’t even in consideration in his argument. Which shows how flawed it is. When there are dire and very easy steps to undermine the costs for the taxpayer and for the state in concern with the MPs.
That would be cheaper for the citizens or taxpayers by the blink of an eye. If the MPs had less allowances, perks and other stipulated pay-incentives, which they happen to have today. The argument he has… they will be even more paid and have more time to settle in and get accustomed with wealth the office provides. A pastor is maybe not the ones to talk about greed, but that is “virtue” in the circles of power an influence. Therefore, the ability to stay longer. Might even trigger more entitlement and a more will to find new measures to enrich themselves. Not the opposite…
He also speaks of training and the time to serve. However, even the most seasoned and the ones who has been on several terms as a legislator or an MP. Haven’t necessarily done much in their time in office. This is not discussed in his piece. Neither the service delivery in general. Just the blunt idea that if given time. The ones becoming MPs will turn into seasoned Statesmen. If it was so… then the ones being in office since the early 1990s and early 2000s would have a better track-record and would be known for their legislation. Alas, that isn’t always the case and therefore… his idea is flawed.
The final stroke of genius is the biblical aspect of 7 years instead of 5 years. My counter to that. If you need two more years than what they have already had. Why do they need that and why couldn’t it suffice to do something earlier? Are the five first years barren years with no results and suddenly a yield comes in the magical sixth year before they campaign again on the seventh?
Well, this wasn’t cutting it for me. There was no substantial reason for me. Only a change of this kind will make the ones going for a monetary gain even more hardened. As they will benefit even more and they cannot be voted out. These will linger for longer time and their scandals might even be forgotten between elections. It is made for a one party control state. To keep their loyalist MPs and have their way. This isn’t to secure accountability or transparency, but give them a longer time to earn on their role as a representative.
The Pastor isn’t giving a remedy or a flair of hope. No, his polishing a path with good intent straight to hell. This here will not bring any of the good spirited intentions he might have. 7 years will only prolong the agony and the possible misuse of office. This here will not be for better educating or creating more profound knowledge of developing the state. The end-game is a grift and a hustle. Not a joyful ride to development and better institutions. That will be a lie and we’re not eating it. Peace.
In the 10th Parliament there is 459 MPs, out of them 77 MPs are above 60 years older. Today, these people added 5 MPs for elderly, so there are for the UPDF, People with Disabilities (PWDs) and Youth. The elderly is for the ones who are above 60 years old. That is 17% of the Parliament.
Maybe it could be less in the 11th Parliament, but the growth of the Parliament is now going up to 536 MPs after the recent calculation by Parliament Watch. That is an addition of 77 MPs between one term to another. From 2016 to 2021. The 2021 will be a free for all. This because of the 46 new counties, 5 cities and newly created districts in the Republic.
In 8th Parliament there was 319 MPs (2006-2011) to 11th Parliament with 536 MPs (2021-2026), which is 217 MPs added since 2006. That is an addition of 21 MPs on average, each year since 2006. This is an astonishing feat by the MPs to make this many seats within the reach of time.
We cannot make this up, the amount of carved out districts and counties. The makings of counties into districts and sub-counties into counties. Which in the end makes the representation for smaller groups of population and gives areas so many MPs. While they are not delivering more services or more needed local government.
This has been shown that some districts has more MPs than doctors and specialized treatments for its citizens. That is just proving a point of how the state is using funds on salaries, emoluments, allowances and other perks they have.
Now, there will be 5 MPs for elderly there, as there isn’t enough with VP, Prime Minister and President of advanced age. All people who could easily gotten pensions from NSSF. The same MPs abolished the age limit, so that the President can be from the stone age and been a buddy with Fred Flintstones.
This is why the recent addition is foolish, as there are plenty of people who are old enough to represent this group. Soon there need to be MPs for newborns and albino. Just to ensure everyone is included and every seat is filled on Nile Avenue. This is just bamboozling the Republic.
The citizens deserves representation, but this is just additional costs without consideration of the revenue. This is just using their role as representatives for selfish reasons and securing another term. All of these additions this term is just to finalize an opportunity to control the next parliament.
To make the 11th Parliament so big that the National Resistance Movement (NRM) can have overreaching manpower and gerrymander it to make it easy to rig another election. That is why the districts and counties are squeezed to pieces just months ahead of elections, while parties are working to find flag-bearers for everywhere. You just got scrap together candidates in the last minute before the campaigning starts, as there are new places to campaign with no second to prepare.
This is all game for the NRM to prepare. They are not minding the bill, they hope some foreign backer or multi-national will foot that. These people are hoping a loan will pay their salaries in the next term.
2021 cannot come quickly enough. The amount of MPs are growing every week and we are at 537 MPs. Could it become about 550 by next week? Why not? Maybe some snoozefest people in Kabalagala is forgotten and doesn’t have a proper MP. Peace.
“How can a district with  thirty thousand people have six MPs and whereas in Kampala and Wakiso areas counties are populated yet they are not considered in this new move of creating counties, he questions the yardstick used by government to create new counties…” – Muhammad Nsereko (30.07.2020 in Parliament).
As there is new cities, 46 counties and new woman representatives coming to the 11th Parliament. The capital is clearly left behind. As there are a lack of representation in consideration to how other districts and counties are carved up. That is easy to see and not quell over.
Nsereko MP is right in his argument, but is this how things needs to be? A republic that has added 208 MPs in Parliament since 2006 and will have 527 MPs in the 11th Parliament from 2021. So, there is managed stretch of representation from various parts of the Republic. Where some are so have plenty more MPs than others.
That Kampala is left behind isn’t shocking, neither would it be in Mukono or in Wakiso too. If you look at population and amount of MPs it is easy math. As there are smaller constituencies and not as populated as some divisions and wards in Kampala. That is all natural, but are a simple reason for it too.
The opposition are usually supreme in Kampala. The opposition have a stronghold here and the President and the Movement would be reluctant to give more power to the opposition in Parliament. They rather carve out districts and counties where they would get more MPs themselves. This is why Kampala also is left behind.
National Resistance Movement are doing this all in areas where they know they can get MPs and more representation. They are not willing to do this. If you remember back in 2016, in the general election. The Electoral Commission and polls was later in the capital, even postponed a day, as the voting material was not delivered in time to the polling stations. So, its not like the state is doing the capital any favours.
We can anticipate the similar fashion in 2021. Sure, if the capital had similar representation as some smaller constituencies. It would have like 20 or 25 MPs or even more. As it has 9 in total today and Nakawa carved in two, making it an even 10 MPs from Kampala. With 15 more MPs, the Parliament would be at the extra-ordinary number of 542 MPs. This shows why this is a foolish game and just toying with expenditure of the state. Where they are just adding additional expenses without any added revenue. The amount of additions to the next Parliament is ridiculous.
Like I stated and I understand the argument of Nsereko MP. His right in his statement and there is no redemption there towards the ones who carved out the other counties to add MPs. However, the state doesn’t need another 15 MPs from Kampala either. No one wins on that. Yes, you create more seats and some people get a bigger voice in Parliament. However, the Parliament is already overstretched and this will just be an added burden.
I don’t see anything positive with the additions already made and clearly will see that with adding MPs from Kampala too. There is a need for restructuring, but not carving out more and making constituencies smaller everywhere. This is also true in regard to Kampala. The whole system needs new tools and this way is only ceasing to make sense and creating make-belief counties to get “men of honour” elected to Parliament. Peace.
There been a rise in the amounts of MPs in the Republic. A such spiralling rise, that its epic. It is such a booming industry. That you would think the National Resistance Movement (NRM) had found the one way to get rich scheme. Ensure that everyone who wants to become MPs can be and ensure that the incumbents can win by making new counties to every single election.
First in the early years of this regime, there 38 NRA/NRM historicals members who ran the National Resistance Council. That was done between 1986 to 1996 and is called the 5th Parliament. By the time of the 8th Parliament (2006-2011) there was 319 MPs. In the 9th Parliament (2011-2016) there was 375 MPs.
In the 10th Parliament, the current day, its 459 MPs (2016-2021).
While the new legislation today with the new 46 counties, new cities and districts, plus the 5 elders MPs the amount of MPs in the 11th Parliament (2021-2026) the amount of MPs is up to 527.
So within the years of 2011 to 2021 the skyrocketing business of expansion in the Parliament went from 375 to 527. That is 152 new MPs since 2011.
If you look between the 2006 to 2021, the numbers goes even more insane. The Parliament went from 319 to 527, which means there was an addition of 208 MPs.
This means from 2006 until 2021 the Republic has made constituencies for 208 MPs, some special reserved seat and some Woman Representatives. However, the amount of adding this much people to be representatives in the August House must be redundant. Just like no government needs the amount of cabinet or Presidential Advisors. Which are all made in favours of the President.
Imagine, the Republic have created 208 seats in 15 years. It is a reason why they have to restructure and rebuild the Parliament. There is no office space, no halls to hold plenary sessions and so fourth. There are too many who has to show up and the building wasn’t built for that amount MPs.
This here is gerrymandering and carving out counties to secure weak MPs and ensure safe passage into Parliament. To also secure more friendly MPs of the regime. Have more cronies paid and lackeys covered in Parliament.
Your ensuring a costly parliament, MPs who is paid and covered with allocated funds, allowances and cars. Sitting fees and everything else. These people are paid millions upon shillings, while people living in a gig economy.
To create these much counties and MPs is only securing loyalty from the top. This is not to better the Republic. Only creating more expenses without adding any revenue. Peace.