By Max Patrick Ocaido
At the start of the 10th parliament in 2016, the government spent over Shs64bn on MPs to allow each of them to procure a personal car to ease their mobility while conducting parliamentary duties. Indeed, by end of 2016, each MP had received Shs150m from Shs120m that was given to the legislators in the 9th parliament for the same purpose.
However, it has been noted that despite receiving Shs150m for the cars, some MPs still hop on risky bodabodas to take them to various destinations. It is also clear that whereas some MPs prefer to use bodabodas to beat the jam-prone Kampala city, others do it as a cost-cutting mechanism considering the fluctuating fuel pump prices coupled by other costs accrued from driving a vehicle.
For whatever reasons, we bring you a list of MPs who regularly use bodabodas to and fro parliament.
David Abala is the MP for Ngora County in Ngora District, Teso subregion. If we are to use army ranks in as far as bodaboda usage is concerned, then Hon Abala is a Lt General. Abala who is one of the most active MPs on the floor of Parliament uses bodabodas more times than he uses his car. In fact, his car driver must be the luckiest and most redundant driver on earth. It is not surprising that it was Abala who recently tabled a motion for a resolution of Parliament urging the government to devise long term means of stopping the rampant murders and robberies suffered by bodaboda riders. Considering that he is a regular client, Abala surely knows the plight of bodaboda riders and fears that he may in future become a victim of ‘collateral damage’ following rampant attacks on bodaboda riders.
Allan Ssewanyana is the MP for Makindye West constituency. Being new in this political limelight, Ssewanyana sometimes forgets his privileges as a Member of Parliament. He still carries himself like that old typical journalist who leaps from one bodaboda to another at any opportune moment. The sports journalist turned politician sometimes uses bodaboda while going for his sports commentaries on local television and radio stations. Being a sports fanatic and investor, Ssewanyana also rides on bodabodas when he is late for local soccer games especially when his team- Katwe United is playing. By the way, it is Hon Ssewanyana who seconded Abala’s motion on the safety of bodaboda riders in the city.
Paulson Luttamaguzi is the MP for Nakaseke South County in Nakaseke district. Just like Ssewanyana, Luttamaguzi who is a regular on political talk shows prefers using bodabodas to driving his car. You will see him entering a radio station in his pair of shorts with teardrops from his eyes as a result of wind flaps from the bodaboda.
Jackson Mbaju is MP for Busongora South MP in Kasese district. Hon Mbaju is a four-star General in using bodabodas. He is so experienced in that field to the extent that he seriously minds about his safety while on a boda. Mbaju even has a SafeBoda App on his phone. Last week on Tuesday, he was spotted riding on a SafeBoda from Parliament to Luzira. He stopped at Ministry of Water offices in Luzira, ordered the SafeBoda rider to wait for him from outside. Indeed, after about 20minutes of waiting, Mbaju returned and the boda sped off with him back to parliament.
Kezekia Mbogo is MP for Budaka County in Budaka district. The MP who resides from Kirinya-Bukasa in Bweyogerere has become a big burden to fellow MPs who reside in the same vicinity. He is always asking for lifts from fellow MPs. Last month, he was left soaked up after being unconditionally baptized by rain as he rode on a bodaboda. Last week, Mbogo was spotted riding on a boda from Kirinya, but when he reached Kavule near Jokas Hotel, a female MP who also resides from that area saw and called him out to join her in the car. Filling so relieved, Mbogo jumped off the boda in lightning speed and joined the female MP in her car that was bound for Kampala town.
John Baptist Nambeshe:
John Baptist Nambeshe is the MP for Manjiya County in Bududa district. Nambeshe is one MP who cannot afford to lose any single second of his precious time. He is always cutting deals left right and center and indeed, the most convenient mode of transport for him is bodabodas. Nambeshe will only remember that he has a car when it is time to retire back home after a long busy day. He cannot afford to miss any workshop in town simply because he is stuck in jam. No! He will even ride on a bicycle if it will make him reach on time.
Dorothy Azaire Nsaija:
Dorothy Azaire Nsaija is the Woman MP for Kamwenge district. She is the iron-lady in the game of men. Today, she will summersault in a boda accident, but a day later she will again be on a bodaboda. Just like Nambeshe, Nsaija will not miss any per-diem from a workshop due to jam. She will jump on a boda for a workshop in Entebbe, return for another at Africana Hotel and proceed to Serena Hotel for another meeting. Nsaija’s time is money!
Stephen Mukitaale is the MP for Buliisa County in Buliisa district. Mukitaale is not only a workaholic MP, but also a very hardworking businessman who values his time. Despite his whale weight, Mukitaale is of no dishonor to sit on a boda. He will enter parliament sweating profusely like he was being baked in an oven. Those close to Mukitaale can testify that the man who has been MP since 2006 is so stingy with his money that he will park his old Land Cruiser car and use a bodaboda.
Hilary Lokwang is the MP for Ik County in Kaabong district. The down to earth MP is not about to start living a luxurious life 3 years after coming to Kampala and Parliament. He still lives a typical Karamojong lifestyle regardless of what the public expects of him as an MP. This little known toothpick-size legislator will not hesitate to pick up a random bodaboda to take him to his destination at any moment he feels convenient for him. In fact, he is too ‘allergic’ to cars to the extent that on his maiden speech, he asked the Speaker to construct a flyover from Parliament to National Theatre for fear that Kampala cars will knock him as he attempts to cross the road.
We shall bring more MPs who use Bodabodas in the second edition….