Opposition figure Kizza Besigye has criticised his former boss and President Yoweri Museveni over excessive security for Ugandan Members of Parliament.
Museveni wrote to the Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija ordering him to purchase a fleet of four-wheel drive pick-ups with open carriage beds to enhance MPs’ security.
The letter which comes after the assassination of Arua municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga was mentioned by Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, during Wednesday’s plenary session.
“I decided to intervene and order the up-grading of the technological base of the Police Force; this up-grading and our general defence doctrine were contained in my 12 points plan of my speech to Parliament on the 20th of June, 2018,” the letter reads.
It adds: “I have therefore decided to protect the Members of Parliament as we wait the putting in place of these systems since they are being singled out.”
The president said he would add on top of police guards, “the sharp-shooters of the army and follow pick-ups that will be used by these sharp-shooters”.
He said the pick-ups will be protected in simple ways against small arms bullets.
“I can assure you, they will not be interesting targets for terrorists using Kalashinikovs, the sharp shooters themselves should get personal body armour and helmets that are bullet resistant, even the other police guards should also get body protection.”
He went on: “On the other hand, when the systems are installed, we shall do away with the individualized security which is really a waste of resources-financial and man-power.”
Unimpressed by the move, Besigye said Uganda may be the first country to resort to such measures.
“Uganda may be the first country in the world to deploy troops and escort vehicles to guard all the 426 MPs!” he tweeted.
He added: “All because they were used by Mr M7 to abrogate the Constitution to provide for his “life-presidency” pursuit!”