KAMPALA - The Ugandan government is borrowing a leaf from Rwanda on how to manage vehicles used by its ministers and other employees.
According to Uganda’s permanent secretary in the ministry of foreign affairs, James Mugume, the country’s government plans to undertake a study in Rwanda and Namibia to learn from the two nations’ system of managing government vehicles.
Three years ago, the Government of Rwanda withdrew all State vehicles from Cabinet ministers and other senior employees. A system was introduced, in which all Cabinet ministers and senior government officials pay for the vehicles in installments deducted from their salaries.
Mugume who appeared before the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) last week told Ugandan MPs that the government will gain from Rwanda’s experience by coming up with a proper way of fleet management.
His disclosure came after PAC members expressed a concern over what they called misuse of government vehicles by public officers. The Auditor General had also voiced similar concern in his report 2005/6.
“On the weekends, traffic jam is caused by government vehicles. I wonder what business these people have on such days since they are not for work! Why can’t police be allowed to impound these vehicles?” MP Peter Mutuluuza, one of the committee members, queried.
Another PAC member, MP Sebuliba Mutumba added: “Why can’t we copy from our neighbours like Rwanda on how to manage the fleet? In Namibia it took only one week for this problem to be solved.”
Already, some Ugandan MPs are planning to table a bill seeking to bond all government vehicles. Last year, the MPs undertook a study in Rwanda and Kenya to learn from two countries’ experiences on how government vehicles are handled.