Details have emerged on the manner in which most Ugandan MPs received Shs40m each at two venues: Parliament and at the home of Speaker Anita Annet Among, both located in the capital Kampala.
It has now been confirmed that each of the MPs was supposed to get Shs40m to reportedly help them as the cost of living continues to rise. Other reports suggest that the money was said to be a token of appreciation.
It was not clear why the MPs were being handed the money. Main opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) says the money was a bribe, an act of corruption and as an indication that the regime doesn’t care about ordinary Ugandans.
“It should have been obvious to everyone that the money was both illegal and immoral, given that it was being given out in cash without any clear explanation about its source and purpose. The National Unity Platform condemns this open day corruption in the strongest terms possible. How can public funds be handled in this manner? A quick summation of these funds shows that the regime is spending over 20 billion shillings on this illegal, immoral and corrupt venture,” the party said in a statement.
” This is going on at a time when the citizens of Uganda are grappling with skyrocketing commodity prices and an extremely tough economic situation. Gen. Museveni and his kleptocratic regime are not bothered about what ordinary Ugandans are going through as long as they are comfortably spending tax-payers’ money for their own benefit.”
But many MPs, including those from NUP, were ready to chew the money. Those willing to take the money were advised on how and where to pick it. The cash was dished out on Saturday, June 11.
But the Kamwokya-based party later convened a caucus meeting and directed its MPs who had picked the money to return it. As a rule, the MPs picking the money from both Parliament and at the Speaker’s home were told to use motorcycles (boda-bodas) or other people’s cars so that they are not easily identified.
“We appreciate the Members who immediately realised this trap and refused to partake of it. We established that a few NUP MPs had unfortunately picked this money, since everyone else was picking it. The Party convened an emergency caucus meeting [on June 13] and resolved that Members belonging to NUP who had picked the money return it immediately because it was clearly a bribe,” the party further said.
The revelation comes days after it emerged that the Parliamentary Commission, which is led by Among, Tayebwa and includes Mathias Mpuuga, the leader of the opposition in Parliament, had increased allowances for MPs. (Read Story Here).
Parliament has also spent billions on buying ceremonial cars for both Speaker Among and her deputy Tayebwa. (Read Story Here).