URN.Zephania Sseninde, the LC 1 Chairperson of Ssenyomo village told Magyezi that a bicycle was something small to brag about, saying that there was no need for the Minister to drive from Kampala to Luwero to launch the bicycle distribution exercise.
The Local Government Ministry has finally started distributing the bicycles they promised LC 1 Chairmen across the Country. Ahead of the 2011 Presidential elections, the Local Government Ministry procured 70,000 bicycles to facilitate LC 1 Chairmen to execute their work.
However, it later emerged that some local government ministry officials had bangled up the bicycle procurement deal causing the Government financial loss of over Shillings 4.6 billion as no single bicycle was shipped to Uganda.
Some of the officials were arrested, prosecuted, and locked up over the bicycle scam. Now, the local government minister, Raphael Magyezi has launched a nationwide distribution of 77,831 bicycles to village and parish chairmen.
The government released another Shillings 24billion to procure a fresh batch of bicycles. Magyezi launched the exercise at Luwero Secondary School in Luwero town on Tuesday where he delivered 725 bicycles to the village and parish chairmen in Luwero district.
He asked the LC 1 Chairmen to appreciate the government’s effort to improve their working conditions and reminded them that the bicycles remain property of the government of Uganda.
Magyezi also promised that the government was in the process of buying motorcycles for LC III and cars for LC 5 Chairmen across the country. However, village, Parish chairmen, and Bamunanika County Member of Parliament said that there was little to appreciate the government for because a bicycle was a small token, arguing that they expected motorcycles.
Zephania Sseninde, the LC 1 Chairperson of Ssenyomo village told Magyezi that a bicycle was something small to brag about, saying that there was no need for the Minister to drive from Kampala to Luwero to launch bicycle distribution.
He explained that the bicycles ought to have been handed over as a donation for their contribution but he was surprised for government to hang on them they remain its property. Aidah Ssekayiri, the LC 1 Chairperson of Vumba village told Minister said that if the government couldn’t afford motorcycles for all, they should have secured them through a loan scheme.
Others questioned where will they get money to repair government bicycles yet they get a monthly allowance of Shillings 10,000. Some said bicycles are outdated and they needed motorcycles so as to traverse their villages.
Robert Ssekitoleko, the Bamunanika County Member of Parliament told Magyezi that after 35 years in power, the NRM government ought to donate motorcycles to village chairmen in appreciation of the work they do for the community.
But Magyezi insisted that the government can only afford bicycles and pleaded with the chairmen to appreciate that the pledge has been finally fulfilled. Magyezi said the COVID-19 pandemic hit had the country’s treasury, adding that it was a blessing that they availed him funds to buy the bicycles.
The Ministry also launched the bicycle distribution exercise in Kyotera and Mubende districts.