MPs ordered to return iPads or pay Shs700,000

Wednesday April 07 2021
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Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) Member of Parliament Maj Gen Pecos Kutesa plays Solitaire during plenary at Parliament in 2017. PHOTO/ALEX ESAGALA

By Damali Mukhaye

Parliament has given MPs up to April 30 to return the iPads that were issued to them in 2016 to facilitate their work.

A March 31 letter from the Clerk to Parliament, Ms Jane Kibirige, addressed to all MPs, a copy of  which this newspaper has seen, states that the iPads are the property of government and must be returned before the end of their term in May.

She said Parliament has valued the iPads for disposal depending on the type and year of purchase.
Those who are unable to return the gadget can purchase them at a disposal price set by the House depending on the brand.

“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,” the letter reads in part.

“This is to, therefore, to 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,” the letter added.

MPs, who were given Apple air 2 wifi+cellular (2014) will pay Shs550,000 to retain them, those with Apple iPad 9.9 32gb (2018) will part with Shs600, 000 while those who were given Apple iPad 9.7, 128gb (2018), are to pay Shs700,000.

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“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,” Ms Kibirige said.

Mr Muwanga Kivumbi (Butambala County) said: “These iPads have become our personal items and they store a lot of our information that we do not wish to loose. The money Parliament is asking for is very little and I am sure all MPs can afford it.”

Ms Lowila Oketayot  (Pader District Woman MP) said  those that will be returned will be disposed of at a cheaper price since there is a budget for new MPs.

The Manjiya County MP, Mr John Baptist Nambeshe, said they do not see any problem with returning the iPads because their term is ending in May.

Background on iPads for MPs
The Parliamentary Commission in 2013 approved a proposal to purchase tablets for all the MPs in the 9th Parliament at more than Shs1b on them.
 MPs are required to return the iPad or pay a residual fee at the end of their five-year tenure.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com 

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