By Max Patrick Ocaido
West Budama South MP Jacob Oboth Oboth on Thursday left fellow legislators in stitches of laughter after he revealed that they are sexually starved due to immense Kampala traffic jam especially on Jinja Road.
Oboth Oboth, also Chairperson of the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs said that the traffic jam on Mukono-Jinja road has turned into some sort of family planning method for him and other dwellers along Kampala’s busiest road.
The MP was protesting government’s delayed construction of Shs3.6trillion ($1bn) Kampala-Jinja Expressway which is expected to become a major gateway for all imports and exports into and out of the country.
Bunyole West MP James Waluswaka who first raised the matter on the floor of parliament questioned why government that had prioritized the construction of Kampala-Jinja Highway is shifting from the initial arrangements to have the road constructed by the Chinese funded by the African Development Bank and World Bank and is now resolving to have the road constructed through Public Private Partnership (PPP).
“To move from here [Kampala] to Mukono you need 5hours yet other roads have been worked on but this road that feeds the country has been neglected. Why is government shifting from its earlier position? Or is it a deliberate effort to leave easterners stunted?” Waluswaka said.
As a supplementary point, MP Oboth Oboth expressed dissatisfaction with Ministry of Finance saying that the ministry seems interested in regulating child birth among dwellers on Kireka-Mukono road through traffic jam.
“The jam on Kireka-Mukono road has turned into some kind of family planning. If you have not produced children then you should not stay along Kireka road. People are not having ‘morning glory’ because they have to wake up early to beat the jam. And there is also no ‘evening glory’ because you will delay in jam,” Oboth said as MPs burst into laughter.
“We need to know from Ministry of Finance if this is a deliberate family planning method. Why do you take us lightly? What kind of planning is this, is it family planning? We need this [road] to be done. If you want to reduce the population of the people from the East then you should tell us.”
Oboth further wondered why government was resorting to Public-private partnership yet parliament had approved a loan for construction of Kampala-Jinja Expressway.
“We need to know if the Minister of Finance is planning against people of the East. We have approved loans [here] and if you want anything of that magnitude to fail, take it to PPP. PPP is struggling for source of financing; PPP doesn’t mean that money is there. Do you want us to give examples where PPP have failed?” he said.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga backed the MPs saying that government should not use the Kampala-Jinja Expressway to experiment on the public-private partnership. She vowed to fight tooth and nail to ensure that this road is constructed without any encumbrances.
State minister for Planning, David Bahati requested for more time to consult and return with a comprehensive statement in regards to Kampala-Jinja Expressway. He however, insisted that the road is still a government priority.
“We have heard voices of people’s representatives and we want to ask for time so that we come to House when we have finalized arrangement to construct Jinja-Kampala Expressway. Give us two weeks to come with a concrete position on this matter because looking for finances is not a one day work,” Bahati said.