Kampala, Uganda – Some members of Parliament have expressed concern over Parliament’s decision to constitute a 40-member National and Regional taskforce to oversee COVID-19 interventions.
The task force, led by Bugweri County MP Abdu Katuntu was unveiled on Tuesday by the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Anita Among. Katuntu will be assisted by other five MPs, Dan Atwijukire, Agnes Kunihira, Bernard Odoi, Anna Adeke and Dickson Kateshumbwa, among others, as parliamentary representatives to the national task force
They will be mandated to inquire about the government’s preparedness and response to COVID-19, assess the health impacts of COVID-19, assess the operations, administration, and management of funds and other resources appropriated and also coordinate the overall interventions of the regional parliamentary task force teams.
But some MPs say that this is a waste of taxpayers money. Bubulo East MP John Musira says that such committees are just a wastage of public resources and instead, wants parliament to utilize the district health officers to provide updates on the COVID situation. He says that with a budget of 1 million Shillings per day for each of the MPs, the country will lose 400 million shillings in 10 days to facilitate the team.
Agago North MP Amos Okot says that this would have been the work of the health committee of Parliament and not a section of MPs whose selection criteria is not well defined.
But Manjia County MP and head of the Eastern task force John Nambeshye says that the establishment of the task force will help monitor the interventions, and make recommendations that will be helpful. He however says that MPs who have not been included in the team should not spoil a genuine reason for the task force.
Similarly, Masindi Woman MP Florence Asiimwe Akiiki says it is not true that the MPs on the task force are getting more than a million Shillings a day.