Uganda’s Parliament Speaker, Anita Among, recently allocated five new Land Cruisers to former speakers of the August House, costing the Parliament over Shs 2.5bn. Notable recipients included former Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, who served as a speaker from 2001 to 2011, Moses Kigongo, the first national vice-chairman of the NRM, and Edward Rugumayo. Even though former Speaker Rebecca Kadaga received a vehicle, she was absent from the handover event.
Each Land Cruiser carries a price tag of at least Shs 500m, with Among stating that replacements would occur every five years, with the taxpayer covering drivers, maintenance, and fuel costs. This move was prompted by the 2020 Administration of Judiciary Act, which addressed the oversight in pension coverage for former speakers.
In 2020, Speaker Kadaga highlighted the oversight in the Administration of Judiciary Bill, stating that it failed to account for former Speakers of Parliament. Notably, figures like Hajji Moses Kigongo, who chaired sessions during President Museveni’s engagements, were not covered by the Parliamentary Pension Act.
The law currently grants former Speakers an annual housing allowance of Shs 300m, a monthly pension of Shs 6.7m, police guards, a personal secretary, funds for furniture every five years, utility coverage, and domestic servants. These benefits underscore the financial burden on taxpayers, a point Speaker Among emphasized, asserting that former speakers are “the property of Parliament” and need to be looked after.