MPs approve new counties, to get more money


Ruth Nankabirwa

Legislators have approved the creation of 65 new constituencies and recommended that the Electoral Commission (EC) confirms them as well as conduct elections for their respective Members of Parliament in 2016 elections.

The main committee report of the Public Service and Local Government yesterday recommended the creation of the counties that will increase MPs from 384 to 425.

To the contrary, the committee chairperson, Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny (Zombo), told Parliament that the current sitting space would not accommodate these large numbers.

This means increased cost of administration, facilitation of MPs and the need for Finance ministry to raise funds for building a bigger parliament.

If Parliament adopts and approves the report, twenty two new counties would be created in addition to the thirty nine that government had suggested to create in a motion tabled by Local Government minister, Adolf Mwesige.

According to the shadow minister for local government and Mukono MP, Betty Nambooze, the creation of the counties would create divisions and conflicts, citing the conflict between Bakiga and Banyankole in Mitooma District.

Ms Nambooze said the committee received evidence that the creation of Ruhinda North would pit the Banyankole against the Bakiga.

The Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah, demanded that she produces evidence and present it on Thursday when the reports are to be debated by the House.

Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa, said Nambooze’s statements were secretariat and tantamount to inciting violence in the country.

Yet, the Leader of the Opposition Wafula Oguttu said government was “balkanising our country in tribal units”.

MPs getting more money

The debate comes at a time MPs are bathing in close to Shs 40bn they received last week.

Each MP received Shs 100 as arrears accrued in fuel allowances since the 9th Parliament commenced.

Yet, the MPs say they are expecting more because Shs 100m is “peanuts”.

“Let me not discuss my small transport allowance on television,” Medard Bityekerezo, MP Mbarara Municipality, told NTV.

Yahaya Gudoi, Bungokho North MP says, “to be sincere to you, Shs 100m is nothing for an MP. It’s like throwing a grain of millet in an ocean.”

“We are yet to receive more…when you calculate from 2006, it is a lot of money,” he added.

The Anti-corruption coalition head, Cissy Kagaba, in response says Ugandans have become a cash cow for MPs to continuously milk.

She proposed that such MPs should be thrown out of parliament.

But that is not all; NRM MPs will also be paid Shs 20m and Shs 50m to consult with party members about the 2011-2016 Museveni manifesto.

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