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Uganda’s opposition MPs return millions in push for presidential age limit consultations

By Timothy Sibasi,

KAMPALA – A section of Ugandan opposition MPs in the 10th Parliament, have this morning returned UGX29 Million each that had been wired to their accounts by the Parliamentary Commission for consultations with their constituencies over the controversial presidential age limit.

Speaking to the reporters, the Opposition Chief Whipe Ibrahim SemujjuNganda revealed that as the opposition, they can’t be the party misusing tax payers’ money hitting their accounts under unclear circumstances.

MP Angelina Osege holds on to her UGX29 million bribe before speaking to it

Semujju revealed that the opposition is going to embark on an undertaking of investigating the source of the money by writing to the Inspector General of Government Irene Mulyagonja and the Auditor general of government to investigate the Clerk to Parliament for diverting funds allocated to the Parliamentary without the approval of Parliament.

“This act puts the integrity of Parliament in bad light; we’re charged with the responsibility of holding accountable public servants who misappropriate public funds for individual interests, so it can’t be parliament now to start showing bad precedents! What will the people think of us??”.Semujju noted.

Money carried in Paper bags by Opposition MPs to press room

Shadow Minister for Internal Affairs, MuhammedKivumbi says, “Under the Parliamentary Rules of Procedures, there’s what is called the Via-Meant under this accountability principal, the clerk to Parliament who doubles as the accounting officer of Parliament is supposed to illustrate to the accounting committee of Parliament under what vote of Parliament did she transfer the funds from to cater for the consultations and in who’s interests was she serving”.

Opposition MPs who returned the money included, AgelinaOsege, William Nzughu, Ibrahim Semujju Nganda, MuhammedKivumbi, Anne Adeke, Medard LubegaSegona, Moses Kasibante, RobinahSentogo and BetreaceAkello.

Whereas this was just a mare drop of an ink in an Ocean, majority Opposition MPs seem to be reluctant to return the funds, the 9 who returned 174 million to the Parliamentary Finance Office in charge of refunds said that the gesture they have showed is not mandatory to every opposition MP or ruling party MPs but a gesture to fight impunity, corruption and abuse of tax payer’s money by civil servants and the chief executive.

Money carried in Paper bags by Opposition MPs to press room

This is not the first time the chief executive is using money to bribe MPs to make amendments in the constitution that clearly stipulates a broad democratic transition of power as opposed to military coups that were synonymous with Uganda’s political history since 1966.

The first bribing of MPs was in 2005 when MPs in the 7th Parliament were bribed with UGX5 Million each to amend for the abolition of presidential term limits to open.

The second time was in 2011 when MPs in the 9th Parliament, Government advanced 20 million shillings to each bank account of 326 MPs for monitoring the NAADs program that had been shredded with stinking corruption scandals. Only 4 opposition MPs returned the money to the parliamentary commission finance department. It was reported that the 20 million shillings bribe to each MP then was meant to silence them from probing the controversial 600 billion supplementary that had been passed for government to spend.

In 2013, again MPs in the 9th Parliament were again bribed with 5 million shillings each under the disguise of making consultations on the controversial Marriage and Divorce Bill, which collapsed on its own weight without appearing on the floor of Parliament for the second reading. The Marriage and Divorce Bill 2013 was being pushed by Civil Society organizations in collaboration with the Association of Uganda Women Parliamentarians.

And the latest bribe coming in under the disguise of consultations on the controversial presidential age limit is this one of 29 million shillings to each MP. In total the chief executive using the Parliamentary Commission as a conduit has spent 14.5 billion on 486 MPs.

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