On Thursday last week, officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while meeting with the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, informed its members of the need to buy and replace the fleet of vehicles transporting dignitaries in the country, notifying them that the cars have been in use since 2007.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, Vincent Bagiire, told the committee currently scheduling the Budget Framework paper for the financial year 2022/2023 that the 14-year-old vehicles purchased for transporting dignitaries during the 2007 CHOGM meetings were in a sorry state and embarrassing to the country.
Sharing her thoughts on this, RX Radio guest host Kusasira Viola on The Fatboy Show today morning said that although replacing the cars would be the right thing to do, she was hopeless about the way the financial resources might be handled.
“It's very hard to trust our Ugandan leaders because they can as well salvage the old vehicles, paint them and take the money. So we need to dispose off the old ones because the leaders can just continue making use of them and claim to have bought new ones,” she opined.
However, Fatboy wondered if the cars won't have to be publicly auctioned before the purchase of new ones to which Viola, in response, commented that the long period of time that they have been used and doubtful working condition wouldn't need them to be auctioned as they would be better sold off as scrap.
“These things are scrap because given our potholes, they must be really bad. I wouldn't even attend their auction because I’ve seen them on the road before and even though they don't look so bad, it's better they are taken for recycling as scrap,” she said.
Fatboy also agreed saying that no matter how cheap the cars will be, it’d be better if someone bought a new car given that they must be in bad shape after such a long time.
“You'd rather buy a new car than buy one an old one, especially a car that has been in government service for 15 years! There's no way that car even moves and even if it did, which it would be barely doing, its cost of maintenance is probably through the roof given that these are Mercedes Benzs and having to fix them regularly would cost one a fortune,” he added.
He also agreed that since the country has been suffering economically, it would only be morally right for the officials to use the huge monies meant to buy new executive cars for the intended purpose. “Viola, have some faith in the government,” the Presenter advised.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, Sarah and Lesham every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.