The Constitutional Court has set October 13 to rule on an application for a temporary order on the government decision to purchase vehicles for Members of Parliament.
In August Twaha Sanywa Twaha, a resident of Kajjansi, petitioned the court challenging the decision to buy cars for MPs of the 10th Parliament, from the consolidated fund.
Sanywa’s lawyer Shaban Sanywa of Sanywa, Wabulire and Company Advocates have now asked the court to issue a temporary order restraining government from releasing the said funds until the disposal of the main petition.
Parliament resolved to spend over 64 billion shillings on the purchase of cars for MPs and each of the 427 members of parliament will receive 150 million shillings.
Justice Richard Buteera set the October 13 date Tuesday, saying he first needed to consider all the parties submissions and authorities they cited in the hearing of this application.
The Attorney General’s office has defended the Parliamentary Commission’s decision to buy personal vehicles, saying the law provides for such benefits and privileges.
This was Senior State Attorney Gorreth Arinaitwe’s response to the application filed by a concerned citizen Sanywa.
Arinaitwe told Justice Buteera that applications of this nature can only be granted where there is irreparable damage but in this case the commission can deduct the contested monies from the MPs emoluments, should the main petition succeed.
Arinaitwe’s submissions were based on an affidavit sworn by the Clerk to Parliament Jane Kibirige, in which she asks court to dismiss Sanywa’s application for lack of merit.
However Sanywa’s lawyer Shaban Sanywa sought a temporary order restraining government from releasing the said funds until the disposal of the main petition.
Shaban argues that it is discriminatory to other arms of government like the Judiciary and Executive who acquire their means of transport by public procurement, to facilitate their duties pursuant to Public Procurement and Disposal of Public assets law .
Sanywa’s says tax payers stand a risk of losing public funds at the hands of parliament in the exercise of their alleged privilege if not restrained by Court.
He adds that MPs receive a monthly salary and allowances that include housing, transport, medical, domestic servant and secretarial services which they can use to buy themselves cars.
Sanywa therefore wants in the main petition, court to declare that using consolidated funds to buy cars for MPs is discriminatory and unconstitutional.