With the price of each new pickup truck ranging between $30,000 (about sh112m) to over $40,000 (about sh149m), the total cost of the vehicles could be over sh70b
The Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Winnie Kiiza, has said that the Government should improve national security instead of offering MPs increased security.
President Yoweri Museveni directed the finance ministry to find funds to procure four-wheel drive double cabin pickup trucks to carry army sharp shooters.
These will escort MPs whose lives could be at threat, as the government works on long-term security measures.
The current Parliament has over 450 members and the number is expected to go up, with the election of MPs in the new municipalities and districts, soon.
With the price of each new pickup truck ranging between $30,000 (about sh112m) to over $40,000 (about sh149m), it means that the total cost of the vehicles could be over sh70b.
Kiiza said the electorate shall think the MPs are selfish because many people have lost life and property.
She also said it will be difficult to get the funds to procure the vehicles because they were not appropriated in the budget.
“It is a bad plan in regards to us as leaders, people will think we think about ourselves only and not the whole population,” Kiiza said.
“When we talked about security it was of all Ugandans and their property. So when the whole country is secure, then we as MPs will be secure,” she added.
The Secretary to Treasury, Keith Muhakanizi, said they will advise the President on how his directive to procure the vehicles can be implemented.
Muhakanizi while releasing the funds for the first quarter of the financial year 2018/19 to different ministries and departments totaling to sh4.3trillion, said ministry officials will seek audience with the President to devise means of getting the funds.
The President also asked the finance minister to provide funds for purchasing bulletproof personal body armour and helmets for the soldiers and Police officers protecting MPs, to protect their bodies from bullets in case of any attack.
The President’s move comes after MPs, fearing for their safety, expressed reservations about guards from Counter-Terrorism Police.
Some of the MPs who supported the Constitution Amendment Bill that was passed in December, to remove presidential age limits, were provided with, Counter-Terrorism Police guards following threats to harm them.
In a recent meeting that the President had with the MPs, they informed him that they were living under fear ever since the killing of their colleague, Col. Ibrahim Abiriga.
Some legislators informed the President that they had received telephone calls and messages via social media, of people threatening to kill them.