Government has started remitting Shs200 million to each of the 529 legislators and the 26 ex-officio members of the 11th Parliament, to enable them buy cars. The cash is part of the string of entitlements that legislators are entitled to throughout their five-year term.
This development was confirmed yesterday by the Director of Communications at Parliament, Mr Chris Obore, who also added that the money is part of the entitlements of that all Members of Parliament are meant to get.
"That is true. We got a release to give members their money which you know is a ritual that each member has to be given money to buy a car. There is nothing to hide there. It is a once in five years' period benefit that members are going to get," Mr Obore confirmed in a telephone interview.
He added: "It is Shs200 million and it is what the other Parliament got. In other words they are getting what the 10th Parliament got."
In 2016, the lawmakers in the 10th Parliament also received advancement to facilitate them in purchasing the cars.
The money has been released at a time when major sectors of the economy are struggling to survive through the shocks triggered by Covid-19, worsened by the 42-day long lockdown that was last month imposed by the President Museveni, as a measure to curb the raging spread of the virus.
The Ministry of Finance recently revealed that a decision had been taken to compress budgets in some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as a means of enabling the government to raise funds to finance activities meant to help in the fight against Covid-19.
Other benefits of MPs
At the close of every month, an MP is assured a net salary of Shs6.1 million besides a string of benefits that include housing allowance of Shs6.5 million, constituency support fee of Shs17.03 million plus a town running fee of Shs1.945 million. Ministers or Ex-officios that don't represent any constituency are exempted from the constituency fund.
Fuel allowance that ranges between Shs10.3 million and Shs31 million per month also adds to the list of benefits of MPs. Its computation is premised on the distance of one's constituency from Kampala hence positioning Kampala MPs with least funding on fuel or mileage as it is best referred to. The MPs that fetch the highest on mileage are those representing on national level like the youth representatives, UPDF, PWDs and Workers MPs.