By Edwin Muhumuza
Bunyole West MP, James Waluswaka has refuted media reports that legislators had decided to double their salaries. He however justifies the need for the move ,owing to the fact that MPs at times do engage in several activities ;official and unofficial. The NRM legislator says may be in the next financial year they may increase their salaries.
Usuk County MP Peter Ogwang, who is a Parliamentary Commissioner for Finance and Planning, has insisted the commission had not yet submitted a request for salary increment for MPs.
Chris Obore, the Parliament’s Director for Communication and Public Affairs, says the Parliamentary Commission did not make a request for MPs’ salary enhancement, but admitted the request may have been “introduced at some stage”.
Honourable Waluswaka,remarks that government does not have money to the extent of affording drugs such as Septrin and therefore any increment would be selfish at this time.He has instead accused the opposition of propaganda intended to throw mud at the government in order to incite the public.
An MP in Uganda earns a basic salary of Shs 11.18m, which is taxed. However, they also take home a raft of untaxed allowances, which elevates their total pay package above the Shs 20 million-mark.
These include subsistence allowance of Shs 4.5m, town running allowance (Shs 1m), gratuity (Shs 1m), medical allowance (Shs 500,000), committee sitting allowance (Shs 50,000), plenary sitting allowance (150,000), as well as a mileage allowance from Parliament to the furthest point of an individual MP’s constituency.
In East Africa, the Ugandan MP’s take total package is higher than that of a Tanzanian legislator ($7,266) and Rwandan ($1,271). The earnings of Ugandan MPs’ have once again been put in the spotlight by the 10th Parliament to increase the legislators’ one-off car grant allowance by 94 per cent from Shs 103m of their predecessors to Shs 200m.