Parliament has withdrawn a contract they had signed with telecom giants, MTN Uganda, to facilitate Members of the August House with free OTT and internet bundles on their Ipads at the expense of the tax payer.
In a communication to the house, the speaker Rebecca Kadaga affirmed that Members of Parliament will have to foot costs of the social media tax (OTT) and not the government as had been communicated prior.
“I want to reaffirm that OTT will not be paid for by the government, you will pay it for yourselves. I told the clerk to cancel that part of the contract, we shall pay our own OTT,” Kadaga decreed.
Members of Parliament claimed to be in agreement with the speaker’s directive, expressing that it was looking ‘awkward’ for government to foot their OTT bill.
“It would look awkward for the people we represent to pay this very exploitative tax while Members of parliament are being pampered and paid for,” Manjiya country legislator John Baptist Nambashe quipped.
In May, parliament agreed to pay Shs6000 for each of the over 450 legislator’s OTT, as well as Shs30,000 for 5GB of internet bundles, bringing a Shs198m annual burden on the tax payer.
Members of Parliament then argued that the move was not favoring them but only aimed at helping them perform the duties of those they represent.
These claimed that Ipads are government property, hence it was only right that government foots the OTT on them.