L-R Denis Ssekabira, Gaffa Mbwatekamwa and Ronald Balimwezo addressing journalists at Parliament.
A section of MPs have protested the silence and inaction from both Government and Parliament on the skyrocketing fuel prices, that has seen Ugandans spend more on fuel than other countries in the region.
While addressing journalists at Parliament , the trio including: Gaffa Mbwatekamwa (Igara West), Dennis Ssekabira (Katikamu North) and Ronald Balimwezo (Nakawa East) called on Speaker Oulanyah to consider calling for a special sitting to discuss the escalating fuel prices that have increased cost of living.
Mbwatekamwa attributed the silence from MPs on the privilege they enjoy for receiving fuel allowances from Parliament, saying the legislators have lost touch with reality and can’t feel pain of their voters.
“Actually, I want to write to the Speaker to come and auction the car that I bought from the Shs200M car money, I can hardly fuel the car. Some Ugandans were laughing at us that we were given car money. For us who went and bought posh cars, we are parking the cars,” Mbwatekamwa said.
He also had no kind words for President Museveni, accusing him of looking on as Ugandans choke on high fuel prices, a trend he says might threaten festive plans of Ugandans who are likely to travel to villages, but their plans maybe thwarted by the high fuel prices.
“President Museveni you are silent because you last bought fuel in the 80s, that is why you can even manage to move with 100 cars because it doesn’t bother you. The Ministers and MPs don’t want to know. We can’t bury our heads in the sand and pretend that our country, things are moving on well in steady progress,” said Mbwatekamwa.
Ssekabira wondered why the cost of fuel in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) can be lower than Uganda, yet all fuel to DRC goes through Uganda, blaming the trend on insider trading among public servants who could be storing fuel and determining the prices at which they’re selling to Ugandans.
He said that the lowest price in Uganda is Shs4090, approximately USD1.30, Tanzania is Shs3780, Rwanda is Shs4000, Congo is Shs3520.
“We know there is a global increment on the price of fuel, it isn’t only here in Uganda, however, Uganda has recorded the highest price increase. You see when you are a government, you can’t let businessmen run some enterprises because when fuel prices go up, it means everything will be got at a high price,” said Ssekabira.
Balimwezo asked Government to investigate the fraudulent dealings between Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) and Stabex Fuel Company, after the two entered into contract naming the latter as the sole trader in national fuel.
It should be recalled that recently, Premier Nabbanja informed Parliament that Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Ruth Nankabirwa would present a statement before Parliament explaining the fuel hike in Uganda, but the time promised elapsed without Government fulfilling the promise.