Outrage has been expressed across the world’s media and news agencies at the decision in Uganda to spend $30.2 million (KSh3.26 billion) on buying ‘lawmakers’ new cars even as the country struggles to buy vaccines to counter the latest wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Members of Parliament in Uganda will each be given the equivalent of $56,500 (KSh6.1 million) to buy new cars. Uganda has 529 MPs.
The funding will help MPs do their work and “check on their constituents”, the Uganda’s parliamentary spokesman Chris Obore told the international news agency Reuters.
The sort of people Uganda’s MPs might be checking on might include a labourer who earns on average about $28 per month, or a teacher earning $75 per month.
Uganda’s Hospitals Overwhelmed
Meanwhile Uganda is in the middle of a second wave of Coronavirus exacerbated by the Delta variant against which the country is poorly equipped to defend. Hospitals are overwhelmed and there are shortages of everything from beds to oxygen and personal protective equipment.
Significantly, the Ugandan government has not purchased any vaccines. The roughly one million Ugandans (out of a population of 41 million) who have received a vaccination have done so courtesy of donated shipments.
Donors might have their patience stretched to breaking points as yet again Africa’s leaders to look to help themselves rather than the people they are supposed to represent and care for.
Meanwhile in Equatorial Guinea – The tale of Michael Jackson’s Glove
Last Thursday the British government placed sanctions on Equatorial Guinea’s Vice-President, son of the country’s president Teodoro Nguema Mbasogo who has been in power since 1979.
Tedoro Obiang Mangue is alleged to have been involved with bribery and corruption running into multiple millions of dollars (Equatorial Guinea has oil).
Obiang has allegedly spent huge amounts of money on luxury mansions, private jets, a luxury yacht, a few Bentley’s, Aston Martins and Ferraris, and even on buying a glove worn by the late Michael Jackson priced at $275,000. Such expenditure would seem to be somewhat beyond the amount Obiang earns as a government minister.
According to the World Bank, 76 per cent of Equatorial Guinea’s population lives in poverty.
How unlike our own dear lawmakers in Kenya where MPs have to get by on just Sh710,000 per month. However, they are also ‘entitled’ to substantial sitting allowances, travel perks, a mileage allowance, a Sh250,000 housing allowance, a Sh5 million car grant, a Sh7 million car loan and a Sh20 million mortgage. TAGS