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Uganda parliament says seven MPs refused money to consult on age limit

By Tom Mugisha,

KAMPALA – Uganda’s parliament has confirmed that seven of eight Members of Parliament (MPs) who said they had returned the ‘age-limit’ cash have indeed returned it.

The seven include Soroti Woman Representative Angelline Osegge, Kira Municipality MP Ssemujju Nganda, Butambala Muwanga Kivumbi and Busongora North MP William Nzoghu.

The others are Rubaga North MP Moses Kasibante, Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga and Busiro East MP Medard Sseggona.

“That money [that they have returned] now goes to the Consolidated Fund,” Chris Obore, Parliament’s Director of Corporate and Public Affairs, said on Monday, October 30.

Mr Obore, who the Daily Monitor had contacted to verify the MPs claims, said the money Parliament had wired to the MPs accounts came from Parliament’s Fiscal Year 2017/18 budget.

Though Parliament had earlier requested the ministry of Finance to fund the MPs’ consultations on the bill, the ministry urged Parliament to draw money from its [Parliament] budget.

Thus, the House used what was meant for emoluments.“We hope the ministry of Finance will reimburse,” Mr Obore said.

MPs are supposed to use the Shs29 million that each got to carry out consultations on the Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2017.

The bill seeks to amend Article 61 (1) of the Constitution to provide that the Electoral Commission shall conduct a general election within the first thirty days of the last one hundred and twenty days before the expiry of the term of the office of the President.

It also seeks to amend Article 102 (b) of the Constitution by expunging paragraph (b), in effect lifting the upper age limit for presidential candidates.

The bill proposes an amendment of Article 104 (2), (3) and (6) to provide that a petition challenging a presidential election shall be lodged in the Supreme Court registry within 15 days, up from 10 and that the Supreme Court will inquire into the matter not later than 45 days, up from 30.

Though Kyaddondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi said he returned the money, and Barclays Bank Uganda Limited, where he has an account, wrote to him saying it had returned the money as he had directed, Parliament did not confirm receipt.

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