Thursday, December 20, 2007

Flights of Fancy

The Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni, is to buy a new Gulfstream presidential jet for £24 million after convincing MPs that his £16 million plane bought seven years ago is out of date.

The plans have caused outrage in Uganda, where one in three people live on less than a dollar a day .

Newspapers are reminding readers of Museveni's famous speech when he came to power in 1986, in which he mocked the expensive tastes of African leaders. "The honourable excellency who is going to the United Nations in executive jets, but has a population at home of 90% walking barefoot, is nothing but a pathetic spectacle," he said at the time. A matter of do what i say , not what i do .

His government has spent already lavishly this year, forking out £79 million on hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and a reported £27 million for a presidential palace refurbishment. In an editorial, the Weekly Observer questioned the president's priorities, noting that "parts of the country are ravaged by floods, Ebola, cholera, malaria, and even plague!"

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