The Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Rebecca Kadaga, has advised newly elected MPs to go slow on loans from commercial banks and money lenders saying they risk living a miserable life in parliament.
Kadaga made the appeal to MPs during a media briefing today ahead of dissolution of the 10th parliament following the expiry of it’s term. Kadaga was presenting accountability of what the out-going parliament has done.
“I want to ask the new members to be very very far from the money lenders. You know money lenders have offices around here and have been sending messages to members saying ‘I can get you one billion in three days.’ So if you are a new member who has just come from an election -may be you are in debt, you might go for it. But for me, that is the biggest message; I don’t want anyone to touch loans” Kadaga said.
She said new MPs should wait until August when they would know how much they will be earning monthly from parliament and how much could be their personal expenditure budget. Kadaga said new members should also first assess whether they need to acquire loans or if they can live within their income range.
“I want them to first know how much you get in a month, How much you will be spending on rent and how much you need to run your constituency and actually if you need a loan. It’s not that once you start getting big money, you start borrowing” she added. a
Kadaga also advised the MPs against trying to impress the electorate through overspending on constituency needs.
“Sometimes these voters can make demands and then you think you are being good to them and you are spending a lot of money. We want them to rationalize how much they are putting into a constituency but mostly, they should use government facilities and resources or lobby instead of getting out of their pockets” She noted.
It should be noted that a number of MPs have lost their properties to banks and money lenders after failing to honor their loan obligations.
The speaker said majority of new MPs come with high expectations that they will earn and save much from parliament but end up completing the five-year term with almost nothing.
Kadaga said the primary focus for the new MPs should be identifying issues from different constituencies and be ready to present them for debate. She said that is the reason why early in the new term of parliament, new MPs are given an opportunity to speak about their constituencies so that government listens and picks up those issues and as well start working on them.
She said much as the 10th parliament has not done as much outreaches as the previous parliament, the major achievement of the out-going parliament has been being more open to the public citing the parliamentary week where the citizens have the opportunity to know much more about the august house and conduct debates in the chambers.
She however said a number of bills will be left uncompleted due to the huge workload as well as the challenges like constraints of time among others.