Uganda’s Parliament has spoken out on allegations that it handed Shs40m in cash to each MP, with Speaker Anita Among, the Bukedea District Woman Representative, said to have been directly involved.
According to NUP, even some of the MPs from the Kamwokya-based party were given the money but have been told to return the money to Parliament.
Chris Obore, the Director of Communication and Public Affairs, says that NUP should not be complaining about the ‘impugned payments’ since they have representatives on the Commission of Parliament.
Obore also described the allegations by NUP as part of a smear campaign against the institution of Parliament.
“National Unity Platform is the largest opposition party in Parliament, and by virtue of that, have representation in the Parliamentary Commission, which is the Legislature’s administrative decision-making organ,” he said in a statement.
“Parliament distances itself from the alleged payment as claimed by the NUP, and treats it as a deliberate, persistent smear campaign against the leadership of Parliament.”
Parliament’s publicist also challenged NUP to task its MPs who head accountability committees to investigate the claims.
“Any payment to MPs by the Commission is charged on the Consolidated Account, and remitted to an individual MP’s bank account. If indeed there has been any such payment by Parliament to MPs outside the known procedures as the NUP claims, wouldn’t it have been the right thing for the party to interest the accountability Committees, chaired by its Members, in the matter with evidence for action?” wondered Obore.
“As leaders, the MPs who NUP claims received the money are duty-bound under Section 10 of the Penal Code Act 2002 (as amended) to declare the same to the Inspectorate of Government for proper investigation. Short of the above, the statement is an effort to tarnish the institution of Parliament where ironically, NUP has representation at the highest decision making organs — the Committees and Commission.”
The Director of Parliament’s Communications further challenged NUP to stop sacrificing the image of Parliament “at the altar of internal party intrigues.”
He added: “Parliament belongs to all citizens, not an individual political party, therefore: respect to Parliament is respect to citizens. The public is advised to treat the statement from NUP as mere allegations without basis since, as earlier mentioned, Parliament does not make cash payment to MPs.”
The shocking allegation came 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).