By Simon Abaho.
Today the Deputy Speaker announced that parliament has procured ipads for the 529 Members of Parliament which they will use when carrying out their duties.
This comes a week after parliament released Shs200m for each MP, ex-officials and parliamentary commissioners to buy vehicles for official duty.
Chris Obore, the Director Communications and Public Affairs Department, at Parliament, said that “All MPs who did not return the Ipads as requested, there was a deduction made on their account to replace the Ipads.”
He added that; “The Ipads are not for personal work but parliamentary business only, so if you are asked to return the Ipad you have to because it was purchased with government money please do so.”
Parliament had given MPs up to April 30 to return the iPads that were issued to them in 2016 to facilitate their work.
A March 31 letter from the former Clerk to Parliament, Ms Jane Kibirige, addressed to all MPs, a copy of which this website saw, stated that the Ipads are the property of the government and must be returned before the end of their term in May.
The letter also states in part that “…the Parliamentary Commission through the Contracts Committee, has approved the disposal of ipads by sale to the current users. The decision was informed by the fact that these ipads have since become part and parcel of the current holder and carry data personal to them.”
In the 10th Parliament, MPs who were given Apple air 2 wifi+cellular (2014) cost Shs550,000 to retain them, those with Apple iPad 9.9 32gb (2018) will part with Shs600, 000 while those who were given Apple iPad 9.7, 128gb (2018), are to pay Shs700,000.
Background on iPads for MPs
The Parliamentary Commission in 2013 approved a proposal to purchase tablets for all MPs in the 9th Parliament at more than Shs1Bn.
However, the legislators are required to return the ipads or pay a residual fee at the end of their five-year tenure if they want to retain them.