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Soroti Residents Challenge Opposition MPs on Emolument

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George William Okoit, the Soroti Municipality Youth councilor questioned why MPs from the opposition are silent on issues of their emolument but very vocal on others affecting Ugandans.
Medard Sseggona during consultations in Soroti.

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Opposition Members of Parliament consulting on the Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2019 had tough time in Soroti to convince residents on legislator’s remuneration.     

The legislators led by the Busiro East County MP, Medard Sseggona were consulting on 17 proposed areas for amendment at Paxland Hotel in Soroti. The bill, containing among other provisions for comprehensive electoral reforms was introduced by the shadow Attorney General, Wilson Nuwagaba after the government proposed reforms that were consulted on by the Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs in August.   

Among the key areas for consultation include the proposal to have the Public Service Commission determine salaries and allowances of public officers under chapter 10 of the Constitution, abolition of office of RDCs and removal of UPDF representatives from parliament.  

The others are the proposed restriction of numbers of cabinet ministers and state ministers to 21 respectively, change the name of Uganda Police Force to Uganda Police Service, Prohibition of the appointment of ministers from among MPs, involvement of Judicial Commission Service Commission in the appointment of the members of the Electoral Commission, Attorney General and deputy to be ex- officio MPs among others.  

However, Soroti residents concentrated on emolument of MPs, presence of army and other special interest group representatives in parliament and RDCs that they observed were weighing on other Ugandan workers and tax payers. 

George William Okoit, the Soroti Municipality Youth councilor questioned why MPs from the opposition are silent on issues of their emolument but very vocal on others affecting Ugandans. He observed that unlike other political leaders whose emolument is dictated by law, MPs are privileged to decide their pay.

 

// cue in “You guys have…

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Peter Lochom, one of the participants tasked the MPs to accommodate a provision for recalling MPs from Parliament when they fail to perform. Lochom observed that several MPs have failed to deliver on their mandate and the voters are helpless leaving legislators to mess up parliament.

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Joseph Okello, an elder in Soroti and residents who participated in the consultation supported the MP’s proposal to remove representatives of the army from Parliament. They argued that there is no justification for ten representatives of the army in Parliament.

 

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In his response to the issue of MPs emolument, Ssegona noted that Ugandans are feeling the pinch on the remuneration of MPs due to bigger numbers. He indicated that the salary paid to Ugandan legislators is far much less compared to their counterparts in the region.

Sseggona also noted that MPs have the liberty to decide their pay to enable them exercise independence from the executive arm of government.

// cue in “It is not worth…

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The opposition consultations on electoral reforms that commenced on Monday also wants provision for the qualification of the chairperson Electoral Commission, clear grounds for the disqualification of members of the Electoral Commission, introduction of the speaker’s panel, reinstating Presidential term limits, replacement of the office of Vice President with the office of the deputy president and repeal the office of the Prime Minister.