Ugandan MPs asked to return iPads or retain them at a fair price

MPs of Uganda’s 10th parliament have been asked to return iPads by the Clerk to Parliament Jane Kibirige. The members of Parliament received these devices in 2016 which they have since relied on to carry out their legislative duties. MPs asked to return iPads before April 30th 2021 in a letter addressed to them by the Clerk of Parliament.

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MPs asked to return iPads as they are government property

MPs asked to return iPads according to a letter addressed to the members of parliament as seen by Daily Monitor which states that the devices are property owned by the government and must be returned before their end of the term in May. However, it was later revealed that some MPs would like to retain the iPads because they contain a lot of personal information that they cannot part with.

The Clerk to Parliament stated that if a member of parliament is unable to return the iPad, they will purchase it at a disposal price determined by the House based depending on the brand.

The letter reads in part, “This is to therefore 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. 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.

The money to be paid for the devices will range between UGX 550,000 to UGX 700,000 depending on the brand.

MPs asked to return iPads however some members of parliament agreed that the devices have become essential to their work and personal lives and that they cannot do without them, implying that they are willing to pay a fee to continue using them.

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 lose. The money Parliament is asking for is very little and I am sure all MPs can afford it.”

The iPads were handed out to members of parliament in 2016 to allow them to facilitate the smooth running of their duties by automating most of their processes like storing records and files. The legislators were expected to get on board with modern technology and adapt.

This was not only done to increase efficiency in the work processes of the legislators in terms of speed and storage, it was also meant to cut down on the costs of stationery in parliament. However, this didn’t work well as the costs of stationery shot up in the next year.

Source: Daily Monitor

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