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Uganda Ministers reject cheap cars

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by ByaseL, Aug 19, 2009.

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    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

    Aug 19, 2009
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    THE Cabinet approved the purchase of posh vehicles for ministers to travel comfortably, the Minister of State for Public Service told MPs yesterday.

    Seezi Mbaguta yesterday told MPs on the physical infrastructure committee that in 2004, her ministry issued a circular on standard vehicles for government officials but the Cabinet opposed it.

    The circular, Mbaguta said, gave the specifications of the vehicles and their make.

    The circular had suggested that ministers use the cheaper Toyota Prado vehicles with engine capacities ranging from 2,800 to 3,500cc.

    “When the circular was circulated, members opposed it and the Cabinet decided that ministers should use Toyota Land Cruisers. There was a discomfort that the Prados are not good and members needed more firm vehicles,” Mbaguta explained.

    The Toyota Land Cruiser is said to be more comfortable with a longer lifespan.

    The Cabinet resolved to buy Land Cruisers with the same engine capacities the ministry had recommended.

    But asked whether the vehicles had the prescribed capacities, Mbaguta was non-committal. “The purchase of the vehicles is undertaken by ministries and relevant departments.

    I can’t know whether they are within the stated capacities or not.”

    Kibanda county MP Amoti Otada said the vehicles had 4,000cc engine capacity, which the MPs said consumes a lot of fuel.

    “We are not trying to deny you such vehicles but it is not justifiable in a country where people are dying of hunger,” committee chairperson Abraham Byandala said.

    Recent media reports said the Cabinet had purchased vehicles worth sh200m.

    Mbaguta appeared before the committee together with works minister John Nasasira and state minister of finance for general duties Fred Omach.

    “If MPs are driving Land Cruisers, what is wrong with ministers driving such vehicles?” Nasasira asked.

    He said the Government had tried other types of vehicles in a bid to save, but incurred more costs because the vehicles were not long-lasting.

    The Ministry of Public Service will soon count all government vehicles to find out their capacities and conditions. The census will take three months.