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Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has renewed the call for Parliament to procure its own helicopter to facilitate the work of legislators.
Kadaga made the appeal on Saturday in Kazo district, western Uganda while officiating at the thanksgiving of former President Museveni’s private principal secretary, Molly Kamukama.
“Today (Saturday), I attended a thanksgiving, in Kazo for Molly Kamukama, the recently appointed State Minister for Economic Monitoring. I voiced out the need to purchase a chopper, which will help MPs execute their oversight role expeditiously,” said Kadaga.
Kadaga told the gathering she delayed because the pilot of the privately owned chopper took her to a wrong destination in Mubende, central Uganda, 150kms from the venue.
“My call was in light of us having had to charter a privately-owned helicopter. Unfortunately, the pilot lost his way and we ended up in Mubende; hence arriving late in Kazo,” said Kadaga.
The army and police choppers are said to be currently deployed in north eastern Uganda to spray locusts.
Plans to buy chopper for Parliament started in 2017 when the Commission asked for 19.9bn in the 2017/2018 budget to buy a nine sitter EC 145 helicopter.
The plans met condemnations from members of the civil society organizations who argued that the legislative arm of government was becoming extravagant.
The plan has since remained unfunded priority in the Parliament’s development budget.
Unpublicized and jealously kept budget documents accessed by ChimpReports indicate that Parliament in 2019/2020 financial year allocated Shs 510m for helicopter hire for the speaker.
The helicopter hire vote is split into two; Shs 310m to buy jet fuel for police helicopters and Shs 200m to hire private choppers.
The Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah also occasionally uses a chopper and the budget is different from that of the Speaker.