The House of Commons in the UK has 650 members of parliament. It should be known however that UK is made up of four nations and that is England, Wales, North Ireland and Scotland.
You can say on average, each nation is represented by 162 MPs presiding over a $2.622 trillion in terms of GDP and a budget of £842 billion in FY 2018/19 and they receive an annual basic salary of £77,379 which is equivalent to Shs 363,681,300/=
As for Uganda in our smallness, 458 members of parliament, I won’t talk about the executive body each taking a basic annual pay of £81,572.4 slightly higher than that of UK yet presiding over a Shs 32 trillion budget if converted to pounds is about £6.8 billion with a country’s GDP standing at $25.5 billion.
Correct me if am wrong, which kind of business are 458 MPs doing that can’t be done by 100 MPs. If there’s anyone out there who has done business or is doing business, would you in your right senses preside over this venture?
We spend so much on operational costs than what we actually invest. We have a debt which is yet to hit the ceiling and this is how we are spending our borrowed money! I won’t talk about what is stolen.
And from the members of parliament, we have in every district a Resident District Commissioner (RDC) and their deputies. We have 127 districts, it means we have 127 RDCs and 127 deputy RDCs, each being paid not less than Shs 1.5m per RDC and I think Shs 1.4m for their deputies. Meaning in just one month, 127 RDCs and their deputies take 368,300,000/= and 4,419,600,000/= per annum.
That is minus the vehicles that need maintenance and fuelling. I wouldn’t be bothered by the above figures, but the real question is, do we as a country need them? We even have a budget for presidential donations. A poor nation like Uganda must we be so extravagant to that extent. What exactly are we trying to prove in doing so?
And with all the above, you want a white man to respect us and stay out of our business yet we keep running to them asking for help, borrowing money from the very same people? We were even forgiven a debt by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) but what did we learn from it, nothing.
Uganda is like a relative you are helping to pay school fees for his children. But he chooses to take the kids to universal free education schools and uses the money to drink alcohol. And when you try to inquire into the matter, he tells you to stay out of his business.
If you want to be respected as a sovereign state that runs its own affairs without being questioned on how you spend your money or run your affairs, stop going around begging for help and borrowing whenever you feel like.
But until then, your business will never stop being their business. Because they need to be sure of what their taxpayers’ money is doing and how it is being spent.
If we don’t learn to manage our debts and invest wisely, not every time we shall be forgiven for being bad managers. China took over Zambia’s airport and not so long ago, they also took over Sri Lanka’s airport because of failing to pay the loans.
Respect comes to those who earn it, it’s not a given. You want to be respected, earn it.