By Umaru Kashaka
Whoever said the “M” in MP stands for money seems to have nailed it, going by the recent happenings in the house.
MPs who participated in the 11th edition of the East African Community (EAC) Inter-Parliamentary games in Arusha, Tanzania have expressed concern over the delay in getting per diem allowances.
On Tuesday, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, assured all MPs who went for these games in December 2021 that they will be paid.
She asked one of the Parliamentary Commissioners, Solomon Silwany (Bukooli Central), to follow up with the Clerk to Parliament (Adolf Mwesige) on the payment of the MPs.
This was after Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa, who doubles as Justice Forum party president, presented the report of the Parliament of Uganda sports club on its participation in the 11th games held from December 4-17, 2021.
Basalirwa also laid on the table all the medals won by the Ugandan team in his capacity as the sports club chairman.
MPs say these games were like any other parliamentary work abroad. They competed with their counterparts in Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania in football, netball, volleyball, basketball, golf and athletics.
The exact number of MPs who took part in these EAC games is yet to be known, but whenever an MP travels abroad for benchmarking or on official duty, he or she gets $720 per day (about sh2.5m) and for inland upcountry trips, each gets sh400,000 per night/day.
MPs’ current pay
A Member of Parliament is paid a gross salary of slightly over sh11m every month and a net of slightly over sh6m after taxation. Some expenses like mileage to the constituency, field trips and committee sittings are also reimbursed.
The mileage paid to an MP depends on how far the constituency is from Kampala and the House also gives special consideration to women MPs who represent big districts, as well as MPs who represent regions. This means the MPs do not get the same amount of allowances.