Cooperatives & Communities

Hot debate in parliament over money lender’s death

KAMPALA – The murder of Uttam Bhandari, a city money lender by a police officer, Ivan Wabwire, has stoked debate in parliament on mental health, minimum wage and exorbitant interest rates in the country.

Speaker Anita Among asked government to speed up the introduction of the Salaries Review Commission to harmonise remuneration in the public service but cautioned that poor pay is no license to commit murder.

Among who was chairing plenary on Tuesday, equally asked government to regulate interest rates in the market to cushion citizens against exorbitant charges on loans.

“Mental health issues must be worked on; moneylenders must not charge exorbitant interest rates; we need to hear from government on the salaries and remuneration commission, and the government should also come in and regulate interest rates,” she said.

Jonam County MP Emmanuel Ongiertho wondered why Wabwire had opted for a commercial loan instead of the Police’s EXODUS SACCO, which in the recent past was riddled with allegations of corruption.

“The issue of minimum wage for officers like that [Ivan Wabwire], I know we do not want to talk about minimum wage, but it is very important; there is a lot of mess in the Police SACCO…ordinarily, that officer would be borrowing from the SACCO,” he said.

Among stated that parliament in the recent past investigated EXODUS SACCO after a whistle-blower claimed that police big-wigs are using SACCO funds for self-enrichment and are reluctant to allow members access to their own funds.

Kalungu West MP Joseph Ssewungu  asked government through the Ministry of Internal Affairs to present a detailed statement on the recent spate of assassinations in the country for proper debate and solutions.

Similarly, Busiki County MP Paul Akamba called for stricter gun control measures, arguing that whereas drivers of motor-vehicles are bound by traffic laws such as non-intoxication when driving, he said it is not clear under what conditions even a licensed firearm holder carrier should not carry the weapon.

He called for routine mental health tests on all firearms carriers to avert possibilities of a mentally incapable person using arms to harm, main and kill.

Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga yesterday told journalists Wabwire shot dead Bhandhari over Shs 200,000 interest he was supposed to pay after taking a loan.

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