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Examine leaders’ benefits bill cautiously

By Vision Reporter

Added 25th October 2009 03:00 AM

PARLIAMENT is currently debating a Bill to provide for the emoluments as well as the retirement benefits of the President, Vice-President and the Prime Minister.

PARLIAMENT is currently debating a Bill to provide for the emoluments as well as the retirement benefits of the President, Vice-President and the Prime Minister.

PARLIAMENT is currently debating a Bill to provide for the emoluments as well as the retirement benefits of the President, Vice-President and the Prime Minister.

The Bill also provides for the payment of survivor’s benefits to the spouse of a retired president until his or her demise.

But a leader will be disqualified from having the benefits in case he or she has been convicted of; subversive activities against Uganda or another country, extra judicial killings, crimes involving dishonesty
or moral turpitude and convicted for stealing, money laundering, fraud or any other unlawful activity.

The enactment of a law providing for the emoluments and retirement benefits of top leaders is a step in the right direction.

But in its current form, the Bill raises some pertinent issues. Why does the Bill cater only for the President, Vice-President and Prime Minister when the country’s top leaders in order of precedence are: The President; Vice-President; Speaker; Chief Justice; Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chief Justice?

There ought to be a single law catering for the emoluments and retirement benefits of the country’s top personalities as spelt out in order of precedence.

It is awkward to cater for the retirement benefits of the Prime Minister when the Speaker, Chief Justice, Deputy Speaker and chief justice are not catered for.

Parliament should also carefully examine whether it is necessary to grant retirement benefits to any person who has served as Vice-President or Prime Minister.

The President is at liberty to hire and fire his Vice-President and Prime Minister anytime.

In effect it is quite possible for a president to remove his Vice-President or Prime Minister in just a matter of months.

Will it be justifiable to grant such a former Vice-President or Prime Minister the retirement benefits? These are issues that must be carefully and objectively examined.

Examine leaders’ benefits bill cautiously

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