As members of the public are still grappling with lamentations on the proposed rise in Members of Parliament` salaries, more so, when prices of all basic commodities` are skyrocketing, we have more `annoying` news for you. Two state-of-the-art luxury Mercedes cars meant for the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Anita Annet Among, jetted into the country last week, the Investigator can authoritatively report.
The two latest sleek monsters of S-Class series, L500 L AMG Line, jetted into the country last week on Thursday, via a cargo plane whose registration is yet to be established. The two cars, whose cost is Sterling Pound 520,000 (approximately UGX2,444,000,000), belong to the seventh generation of the S-Class which, was originally scheduled to be launched in South Africa last year, but the same was prevented by Covid-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, the Germany brand`s local arm finally released the machine this year and thank God, our 49yr-old Speaker Among becomes one on the very first purchasers of the long-awaited luxury monster.
Upon its final launch, Mark Raine, the Co-CEO and Executive Director of Mercedes Benz in South Africa, had this to say; “The S-Class is the centrepiece of our brand and shows what the pinnacle of luxury means for Mercedes-Benz. The symbiosis of timeless elegance, a spectacular design, and class-leading automotive innovations allow our clientele to experience the true meaning of luxury.”
Conferring to documents obtained by this website, on top of the cost price of each car, a Sterling Pound 10,000 is added as buyer administration fees, bringing the total figure to UGX2491,000,000! It is however, not yet established whether this is the final cost. The figures being reported here are those provided by Albeity Limited, the company which supposedly quoted and delivered the machines.
Details contained in Albeity quotation to Clerk to Parliament dated 28th March 2022, indicate that the two monsters are model: S500 L AMG Line, exterior: 197 – Obsidian Black Metallic, interior: Nappa Sienna Brown/Black 2 Tone, production: year 2022, package: Premium Plus Equipment and Premium Plus Executive Equipment. The deposit upon placing the order was 30% and the balance was upon delivery, meaning, now that the cars are already in the country, the entire cost is cleared.
By law, the Parliament Speaker and their Deputy are entitled to ceremonial cars each, mainly used during parliamentary and state functions. They are also entitled to official cars each. The former speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga and her Deputy, the Late Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanya were both, last bought cars in May 2011 at a cost of UGX840M altogether. It is not yet clear what arrangements are made for Among`s deputy, Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa. However, if he also chooses to ignore the biting economy and demand for his share, the Speakers` car budget could shoot to approximately UGX5bn.
Whereas its their entitlement, some Ugandans talked to for purposes of this report, believe the Speaker and her office would have skipped this expenditure courtesy of the tight economy which by all means, would require government to cut on costs. “Where situation demands, there`s no law. Government should be pondering on how to cut on their expenses than adding more,” James Otim, a professional lawyer observed last night.
- Stanley Ndawula is a two and a half decades’ seasoned investigative journalist with a knack for serious crimes investigations and reporting. He’s the Founding Editorial Director and CEO at The Investigator Publications (U) Limited
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