By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: The minister of Finance Matia Kasaija is currently hunting for at least Shs 165bn to avail to parliament to give each member of parliament as motor vehicle allowance.
The Newly elected and re-elected members of parliament are yet to receive brown envelopes containing nearly $100,000 which they don’t even need to account for as vehicle allowances despite the economic hardships that have hit the country lately due to Covid-19 out break.
With the 514 MPs, each will be pocketing at least Shs 321 million since there are no implementation costs for the ‘programme’.
Speaking to journalists on Monday, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija said the money will have to be availed because the MPs need transport, especially the newly elected members adding that the exact figure will have to be determined by the Parliamentary Commission on which he himself sits.
“Every MP must get a car. Especially the new ones…..but the amount will depend on what the Parliamentary Commission determines. If we have the money we will provide, if we do not have the money we can give half, or a quarter then the MP can go and determine what type of car he can get,” Kasaija noted.
In the 10th Parliament government spent nearly Shs110 billion on motor vehicle funds awarded to MPs.
The money was released in two installments with MPs getting Shs100 million each in October 2016 following a release of Shs 64.5 billion, MPs were to get an additional Shs100 million each following release of Shs45.8 billion in June 2017.
The 11th parliament is set to see the amount spent on the MPs’ car allowance rise by Shs 55 billion to Shs165 billion owing to an increase in number of MPs from 448 to 514. This translates into a cash out of Shs 321 million per MP.
However, President Yoweri Museveni, during his victory speech after he was announced the winner of the 2021 presidential elections, warned MPs against extravagance and wasteful expenditure of saying he will not allow them to increase their allowances and emoluments as they please.