Uganda’s opposition has described as reckless government’s plan to buy a new plane for President Yoweri Museveni’s use. This comes after the government announced it would be spending about $48 million to buy a new Gulf Stream jet. Meanwhile, some Ugandans are blaming the opposition for not doing enough to stop what they describe as government’s misplaced priorities. But the opposition says it should not be blamed for the failures of the government.
Professor Ogenga Latigo is the leader of Uganda’s opposition in parliament. From Gulu, northern Uganda he tells reporter Peter Clottey that the opposition is frustrated with President Yoweri Museveni.
“We had an opposition meeting, and out of that meeting one of my members who was on that committee gave me a brief on the presidential jet, which I was still studying only to read in the papers today that the committee has already approved the purchase of the jet. But this is something that we are going to fight very vigorously because we know that from the government side anything that the president wants, whether it is good or bad would always be approved. Now, it would be incumbent on us as the opposition to demonstrate to the country that this request for a presidential jet is uncalled for and that our priorities as a country are different,” Latigo pointed out.
He accused the government of misplacing its priorities to the detriment of ordinary Ugandans.
“This follows hotly on the heels of the two hundred and fifty something billion Uganda shillings, which is over a hundred million dollars that has just been spent on CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting). Out of which the government is telling us that the roads they have done is temporary and that it would last for one and half years. This is recklessness of the highest order,” he opined.
Latigo said the opposition should not be the proverbial scapegoat when it is the government that is failing the people.
“Politics in Uganda is very funny. The opposition gets blamed for the wrong things that the government has done instead of saying look regardless of whether the opposition has done something or not is right for the government to do it? And this requires the opposition for the country to understand that spending $48 million on another jet, which replacement is not necessary given the current jet can still be utilized. Is it necessary? Must we blame the opposition for it?” Latigo asked.
He said the opposition would continue to fight against what he described as government’s unnecessary spending.
“The best we can do is to highlight. That is the best we in the opposition can do. Advocate for change so that these excesses that we are witnessing under President Museveni are ended,” he noted.