Kiira Motors, Marie Antoinette, sense and privilege in Ugandan politics
KAMPALA, SEPTEMBER 23 – Students of history could not have missed the parallels between the seemingly insatiable demands of our legislators on an overburdened public and the famous remarks of French Queen Marie Antoinette, who just over 200 years ago told hungry Parisians to eat cake if they could not find bread.
Besides other peculiarities such as craving expensive funerals for themselves when they die, the demand for a Ushs 200 million car allowance has cast them as particularly lacking social consciousness. At that price tag, each MP’s ride will setback the tax payer atleast $58,000 or roughly $25.1 million for the entire house.
Without going into the merits or lack thereof, there is no doubt that Uganda politics has lost purpose beyond the crude survival and the self aggrandisement of a functionally illiterate elite. Despite that, 256BN believes a middle ground is possible and expediting the Kiira Motors project could be part of the solution. In the absence of a benchmark, certain things can look way too expensive. And it appears Ugandans are in principle not opposed to facilitating their representatives conveyance but are aghast at the price tag.
If made operational, Kiira Motors could design and manufacture a car for our VIP’s. If they don’t like it, then Kiira’s price for that vehicle would be the basis upon which anybody who wants to buy something different would be compensated.
Such an approach, employed in countries such as India, would kill two birds with one stone. It atones for the MP’s perceived excesses and saves them a moral burden while also adding value to the domestic automobile value chain.