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Pigs demo against 'MPs greed' to continue, youth warn

The piglets that were released at parliament on Thursday

Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party youths want the Leader of Opposition, Winfred Kiiza, sacked for keeping quiet over what they termed extravagant spending by parliament.
 
The youth accuse Kiiza of not speaking out against plans by parliament to spend about Shs 84bn to buy cars for MPs while Shs 68m has been earmarked for burial of each legislator in case they die while still serving in the House.
 
Parliament has also been under criticism after reportedly spending over Shs 2bn to sponsor MPs to attend the Uganda North American Association (UNAA) convention in the United States.
 
The youth under the 'Jobless Brotherhood' and the 'National Youth Coalition for Change' yesterday addressed journalists following their Thursday demonstration at parliament.
 
On Thursday, two youths, Joseph Lukwago and Ferdinand Luta, donning 'Jobless Brotherhood' T-shirts carried 10 piglets to the parliament main gate at Parliamentary Avenue. This, they say, was to protest a decision by parliament to give each legislator Shs 200m to buy cars.
 
They dropped piglets painted in blue and yellow which are the official colours of the leading opposition political party, FDC and the ruling party, National Resistance Movement (NRM). They accused the MPs of being greedy and indifferent to the plight of the common Ugandan.
 
"We would have delayed our pigs demo if the opposition MPs legislated in favour of the plight of the common Ugandan," reads part of the Jobless Brotherhood statement.
 
Augustine Ajobile, the coordinator Youth Coalition for Change said that they will not keep quiet because Kiiza is part of FDC and that she must answer for her own wrongs.
 
“If you remember how she has been moving, receiving Shs 3bn in order to go and campaign for a failure [Specioza Kazibwe for chairperson of the African Union Commission,]. After that, [she demanded that] they should increase her budget in the Leader of Opposition’s office - that connivance. We have now realised she thinks we shall keep quiet because she is FDC. She has to answer for her own wrongs. This is regrettable for a parliament with a woman speaker and a woman Leader of Opposition who have not sympathised with the majority vulnerable mothers and the youth of this country. Hon Kadaga and Hon. Winnie are traitors of the women’s cause”, Ajobile said.

Norman Tumuhimbise, the national coordinator Jobless Brotherhood said that they expected Kiiza, the Kasese Woman MP, to issue a statement opposing huge parliament expenditure on cars.
 
He demanded that Kiiza communicates her stand on procurement of vehicles for MPs and other issues of concern to the country.
 
“It is not what she did, it is about what she did not do. We expected her to come up with a very formal statement worth opposition because there is no way a one Kato Lubwama can really come and say something or any other person. As the Leader of Opposition what is her stand regarding MPs vehicles, regarding to the almost Shs 3bn that was spent on this bonanza in UNAA. We expected her to brief the world what did we as a nation benefit from UNAA. They are all quiet. Cancer machine, hospitals everything and she is keeping quiet”, he said.

The youths also attacked the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga over what they called abuse of office. Kadaga was faulted for hosting a three-day Inter-Parliamentary Union of IGAD member states (IPU-IGAD) Speakers conference at her Century Hotel in Kamuli. The conference is expected to bring speakers from eight countries between September 18 and 20.
 
It was reported in the local media on Thursday that parliament authorities were under fire to answer queries of conflict of interest after a deal to host the conference was awarded to a hotel owned by Kadaga.
 
Robert Mayanja, the spokesperson of Jobless Brotherhood questioned whether there was a consideration for other companies to host the conference.
 
““We want the speaker to explain to the nation why it is her hotel that was awarded that contract. We suspect it is abuse of office similar to what she accused Amama Mbabazi of that he used his prime minister position to exorbitantly sell off his land to NSSF in Temanagalo. In this hotel deal, Kadaga is no different from Mbabazi’s land deal”, Mayanja said.

 Tumuhimbise warned that if, what they call greed of MPs continues, they are to continue staging pig demonstrations outside the House.

“Trust me, thousands and thousands of piglets will continue jumping around Kampala and parliamentary avenue, period. That is our stand. You stop the greed, no more pigs in town. [They] continue being so greedy and that stupid, no matter who or which colour you belong to we shall be with you heads-on. No sympathy, no beautiful words whether you’re Kadaga, whether you’re Winnie Kiiza”, Tumuhimbise said.

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