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Thursday, December 1, 2022

ANOTHER SCANDAL? Was the cost of Ugandan MPs’ iPads inflated?

Deputy speaker of Parliament Anita Annet Among has confirmed the procurement of iPads for 529 MPs and 26 ex-officio members.

Among told Parliament plenary that the distribution of iPads would start on August 02.

Reports claim tax payers will part with Shs4.2m to buy each of the MPs and ex-officio MPs iPads to ease their work.

This would translate to Shs2.3bn.

The figure is an increase from Shs1bn spent in the ninth Parliament (specifically in 2013 when legislators first got the iPads) and Shs1.9bn in the 10th Parliament.

But this figure can be explained by the increment in number of MPs, occassioned by factors such as creation of new constituencies.

However, the current prices of Apple Air 2 wi-fi+cellular iPad, Apple iPad 9.9 32gb and Apple iPad 9.7 128gb – brands used by MPs in the 10th Parliament – are lower than the reported Shs4.2m.

For example, the latter device currently costs Shs 1m.

Meanwhile, it is not clear if the 10th Parliament MPs have already returned the iPads as required.

But in July 29 media reports, parliament’s director of communication and public affairs Chris Obore said the MPs had either returned the gadgets or had their money hewed from their accounts.

The deadline for the return of the iPads was April 30, 2021, according to a notice by then clerk to Parliament Jane Kibirige.

She also announced how much members who wished to keep the iPads would have to let go: Apple air 2 wifi+cellular – Shs550,000; Apple iPad 9.9 32gb – Shs600,000; and Apple iPad 9.7, 128gb –Shs700,000.

“The Parliamentary Commission through the Contracts Committee has approved the disposal of iPads by sale to the current users. The decision was informed by the fact that these iPads have since become part and parcel of the current holder and carry data personal to them,” wrote Kibirige.

“This is to, therefore, inform you that the amount corresponding to the iPad you hold shall be deducted from your emolument of May 2021 to recover the cost of the iPad in your possession. However, if you prefer not to pay for the iPad and would like to return it to the commission, you are requested to inform the Clerk to Parliament to that effect in writing by April 30.”

The MPs are getting iPads days after each of them received Shs200m to buy vehicles.

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Pearl Times Reporter
Pearl Times Reporterhttps://pearltimes.co.ug
Latest Uganda news, politics, business, health and entertainment coverage.

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