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Wolokoso: ‘Rural’ excitement as MPs receive i-Pads

When word went round parliament last week that the distribution of i-Pads had started, work in the House came to a standstill. Many MPs ran out of the committees and headed to the ICT office, where the gadgets were given out.

Lydia Mirembe, the Butambala Woman MP, could not contain her excitement when she received the gadgets. She immediately took the i-Pad out of its box and started checking out some of its applications.

Butambala Woman MP Lydia Mirembe with her i-Pad

“Ehh…Ehh this thing is good,” Mirembe was overheard telling a colleague.

While the i-Pads are supposed to enable MPs access e-documents and thus make their work easier, some MPs were heard asking whether the games ‘Angry Birds’ and

‘Temple Run’ had been installed.

MP cries over food portions

Some MPs are not happy about the amount of food aid government gives to people as a response to natural disasters in some areas of the country.

We overheard Kapelebyong MP Julius Ochen sharing with colleagues how he was not amused some time back when six people died of hunger in Amuria district.

He said when the district faced famine due to floods, government took some maize flour and beans but the largest quantity a family of ten people got was a ‘Nomi bucket’ size amount of maize flour and two cups of beans.

“They quickly go and publicize that they have taken trailers of maize flour yet that posho cannot even sustain the victims for a week,” Ochen told a bemused colleague.

Busia MP mixes up NBS, UNBS

Nile Broadcasting Station (NBS) is a private television station while the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) is a government body responsible for maintaining standards of consumer goods.

But when you ask Geoffrey Macho, the Busia municipality MP, to tell you the difference between NBS and UNBS, he will stammer. Macho amused colleagues on the parliamentary committee on Trade, Tourism and Antiquities when he failed to distinguish between the two organisations.

In his submission recently, Macho consistently said ‘NBS’ when he actually meant to say ‘UNBS.’

For instance he said: “Personally I am a former smuggler but I note with concern that NBS officials collude with smugglers. Smuggling is against the law and you NBS people should stop that practice [colluding with smugglers] to deny our country sources of revenue. But on the other hand, government should give NBS enough money to carry out their work properly.”

It took a colleague who corrected him that it was ‘UNBS,’ and not ‘NBS,’ that is responsible for maintaining standards.

Kato Lubwama to start television

Lubaga South MP Kato Lubwama is best known for his comical background in theatre and the media. But of recent, several activists have attacked him for exhibiting greed and opulence during tough economic times.

This comes hot on the heels of his stern defence of parliament’s proposed Shs 200m for MPs’ cars not to mention the Shs 68m for burial costs. Not one to shy away from a fight, Lubwama says he is spending most of his efforts in launching a new TV station called Biiso TV.

“I’m still trying to have a base either at Royal theatre in the central business district or somewhere in the city centre,” he says. “I’m going to employ quality staff on high salaries to produce the finest work ever seen in the Ugandan media industry,” Lubwama told The Observer at parliament on Wednesday.

It is hard to tell whether this is not a stunt but when asked about his source of money, a beaming Lubwama could only splash headed papers of Biiso TV.

“Look here, if you have big eyes like me, money might not be a problem but the problem is how to spend it like Francis Imbuga said in his book: Betrayal in the City,” he said.

I had some money before I became an MP though good Samaritans fundraised for my heart operation,” added Lubwama.

He revealed that informative programs on his TV station will include local plays, entertainment and objective news. Asked about his political future, Lubwama left no doubt about his ambitions.

“I came [to parliament] as an independent under the umbrella of the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago’s TJ [Truth and Justice] pressure group. I am a DP member but I decide what to do without anybody ordering me. Joining the defiance campaign is out of my plans because I’m looking at only developing my people. I’m using the Shs 200m to uplift my voters,” a boastful Lubwama said.

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