Ugandan MPs push for free water, electricity amidst COVID-19 lockdown

Black Boy Drinking from a Water Tap

Kampala, Uganda | URN | A section of Members of Parliament want government to waive water and electricity bills for six months following the lockdown brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The legislators argue that the lockdown which came into force in March has left Ugandans incapacitated economically and are unable to foot utility bills due to loss of employment by many, failure to run their businesses and also the movement restrictions that have put things to a standstill.

The MPs say other countries like Ghana already announced free water for three months while Guinea says it will freeze house rent and El Salvador among others has waived water, internet and electricity bills.

This publication has seen a copy of the draft motion to be moved by Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga and seconded by six other MPs including Maurice Kibalya of Bugabula South, Gerald Karuhanga of Ntungamo Municipality and John Baptist Nambeshe of Manjia County.

Mpuuga says that in order to jump-start the economy, power and water bills waiver are very important and will help businesses start. Mpuuga says that government is yet to give any stimulus to Ugandans, and these are some of the things government can do.

Andrew Aja Baryayanga, the Kabale Municipality MP says that many people have been cut off in his area as they do not have money. He says it is unfortunate that people need to receive messages on COVID-19 and that people have to rely on electricity which has been cut off.

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Ntungamo Municipality MP Gerald Karuhanga says that government spends billions of money in elections and distributes t-shirts to voters but this is actually the right time to spend on citizens.

Monica Amoding, the Kumi Municipality MP said she hopes to amend the motion to include free television services for Ugandans and not subscriptions since there are lessons and COVID-19 messages being shared.