Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine has referred to his colleagues in the house as callous and ridiculous for demanding that the taxpayer meets their social media taxes and internet data.
Parliament awarded a contract to telecom giant, MTN Uganda to offer Mobile Internet Services and Over the Top (OTT) services for MPs’ worth Shs 6,000 and also 5GB data bundles for each of 485 MPs in the 10th parliament.
“What can one say? They pass unfair taxes against the poor people and demand that the poor people pay those unfair taxes for them!” Bobi Wine pointed out.
He said last year when they protested against the OTT tax, many colleague MPs came out to defend it.
“Today, I am facing charges and was recently jailed over the same protest! Then some MPs who earn so many times more than the common person, think that the poor person should pay that tax for them!”
He added: “How ridiculous! How callous! Comrades, the only thing required for evil to reign is for good people to keep quiet.”
Speaking on the same, Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] President Patrick Oboi Amuriat said the proposal for free OTT (6,000/-) and 5GB internet data (30,000/-) was puzzling.
“First, that amount is a drop in an ocean of an already huge burden to the public in funding a large parliament. I find it difficult to believe this cost can’t be afforded by all MPs to necessitate being aided by the commission,” he noted.
According to Amuriat, it’s mind boggling that OTT was passed by the same Parliamentarians which now think it is a burden to pay for.
The argument by Hon. Commissioner Peter Ogwang that this aids their work cannot rule out the fact that they can afford the tax more than common citizens who equally have a right to access to information can do.
“Our legislators should be reminded that what is good for the goose is good for the gander.”
He added: “This kind of insensitivity by a section of our MPs is reckless and can cause anger in citizens who may view this as extremely provocative. Please MPs don’t continue provoking citizens whose patience is already overstretched.”
According to opposition figure, Kizza Besigye, the problem of Uganda is a crisis of leadership.
He argued that retail leadership is very dangerous for Uganda; where people are fighting to be leaders to serve in a junta they don’t like- because, they are selfish and in search of quick fix.
While attending the burial of Raphael Walugembe, 24, who had just completed his final exams at Nkozi University, Bobi Wine lashed out at President Museveni.
He requested Kampala minister Beti Kamya who was in attendance to go and ask President Museveni to reflect on the tears which the gun continues to cause to the mothers and fathers of this country.
“…such as Walugembe’s mother who single-handedly struggled to raise him and his siblings- only for her to lose him in such a manner.”
Walugembe was a strong People Power supporter and coordinator in Kyengera. On Wednesday this week, he was shot and killed on spot.
There has been no explanation regarding his murder in cold blood.
“Unfortunately, the police leadership abdicated its responsibility to fight crime and chose to focus on fighting the regime’s political opponents,” Bobi Wine said.