When you think our politicians can’t go any lower, President Yoweri Museveni addressed the issue of creating new counties.
The president was categorical. He opposed the idea of creating new constituencies and he informed Ugandans especially because some counties were not big enough to warrant the county status.
Days before, Treasury Secretary Keith Muhakanizi had told a gathering of professionals with an interest in how our national economy is being managed, that he found it mind-boggling that members of parliament who are familiar with the state of our economy, were fighting to create constituencies for their selfish-selves.
The Ministry of Finance has in the recent past really been struggling to meet their financial obligations. They have had to defer salary raises for teachers and other vital service providers. Seeing politicians who should know better increasing the already high cost of government administration therefore, must be killing Muhakanizi internally.
No wonder he first declared that he feared for his job just before he proceeded to voice his grave concern. He nevertheless said he had to openly add his voice to the voices of many other Ugandans because not to do so would be dishonesty.
It was therefore heartening when we had the president a few days later declaring that he would not allow more counties.
What is perturbing now though, is the media reports that more counties have been approved by parliament, bringing the number of new counties to 43 on top of the already over spilling parliament.
Today, many Ugandans are struggling to look after themselves and their families. Unemployment is shamefully high. Health care is beyond the reach of many Ugandans. Poverty is so high that government has had to abandon NAADS and replaced it with a new Wealth Creation effort in the hope of creating a better quality of life for the majority of Ugandans.
In short, life is tough for many of our people so much so that whenever they see politicians dishing money and more money to themselves, the ordinary people get so very angry with the government because they can never understand why the government does not care about the poor who vote governments into power.
For many Ugandans, it is clear that the new counties or constituencies are being created first for the benefit of those parliamentarians whose current constituencies are being threatened by new comers.
Secondly, new counties are being curved out of safe constituencies for the benefit of parties that feel scared of losing some seats for some reason. And yet still, some new counties are being manufactured for certain members loyal to privileged parties.
Whatever the case may be, it is wrong for Uganda to increase the number of parliamentarians knowing full well that the government is almost broke. Otherwise how can it explain the fact that some government workers go for up to three months without salaries when it is busy spending the little recklessly and unproductively?
Do our politicians really ever take time to ponder over the time they will one day be asked to account for their actions during their time in power? Where do they think the money to run the new constituencies will come from? Or they just don’t care about this country! Why are we even asking?