Members of Parliament yesterday asked the government to account for the rising commodity prices across the country, saying the continued silence by ministers shows how insensitive the state is to the plight of its citizens.
Over the past weeks, the cost of essential commodities has continued to skyrocket with increasing fuel prices, forcing many Ugandans to survive on bare minimum amid the government silence.
Legislators want the government to respond to the cries of the citizens and take measures to put a cap on the prices.
Ms Naome Kabasharira (Rushenyi County, Ntugamo) said Uganda has become a country of exploitation.
“The prices are high, the fuel prices cannot be managed but we are continuing to debate. I think we are being unfair to these people that we represent,” she said.
"I was told that most foreigners come to do business here because they can take advantage of Ugandans, increase prices & there will be no hullabaloo. You can increase fuel prices and people will talk abit, MPs will talk a bit and things end there," she added.
Mr Gaffa Mbwatekamwa (Igara County West) said the situation warrants the government to suspend taxes on some commodities so that they can be imported at cheaper cost.
He cited fuel which he said is driving a hike in prices of other commodities.
“Government should think about suspending some of the taxes on fuel because if a litre is at Shs5,000, and prices have skyrocketed and now we are anticipating because of Russia and Ukraine, fuel prices will go higher. So, if the prices go as far as Shs10,000, what will happen to this country?,” he said.
He also asked line ministers to present statements on the floor of Parliament to address the crises.
“The ministers of Trade, Agriculture, Foreign Affairs should come here and explain comprehensively. We are tired and so are Ugandans,” he said.
Deputy Speaker Anita Among directed different ministries to present a comprehensive report on the escalating prices and measures to curb it.
“I feel for all the Ugandans because of the high prices for essential commodities. We need to give the government an opportunity to make a presentation on Tuesday. Let us give them time to prepare so that they can be able to prepare for the action that is being taken, not just lamentations,” she said.
The Government Chief Whip, Mr Thomas Tayebwa, said a statement would be presented next week.
“The issues raised by colleagues are issues which we have discussed as government and last Monday in Cabinet, the Prime Minister was assigned to hold a meeting with the manufactures and that meeting is going to be tomorrow (today) to look into the hike of prices in the daily use of commodities mainly and others. On Tuesday, we shall come with a comprehensive report on the same but we take concern,” Mr Tayebwa said.