Former MPs Start Move to Seek Service Awards

In a twist of irony, former Ugandan MPs, now part of the Association of Parliamentary Alumni of Uganda, are appealing to President Museveni to fulfill a long-standing promise. They seek a "service award" of 100 million Ugandan shillings (about $27,000) each, a pledge made eight years ago, known locally as "akasimo," meaning a gift or reward.

The new association chairperson, Jacqueline Kyatuheire, emphasizes the financial struggles many former MPs face, citing their advanced age as a reason for needing support. Their requests go beyond the monetary award, including taxpayer-funded burials, expanded pensions for earlier parliamentary members, and subsidized health insurance similar to current MPs' benefits.

However, opinions are divided. Dan Kidega, a former East African Legislative Assembly Speaker, advises the group to focus on guiding younger leaders and adapt to political changes rather than seeking personal benefits.

This scenario underscores the complex relationship between public service and personal gain. While former MPs request substantial benefits post-service, it raises the question of whether such support is justified, especially amid financial hardships faced by some members. The public's reaction will likely spark further debate on the appropriateness of these demands.

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