The Speaker of Uganda’s Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has revealed that Parliament increasing/determining MPs emoluments without consulting the executive is constitutional.
Kadaga made the remarks during today’s plenary sitting while responding to the recent Supreme Court ruling that barred Parliament from determining MPs’ emoluments without consulting with the Executive.
She said that the emoluments of MPs are determined in accordance with the provisions of the constitution and there is no illegality.
“The Supreme Court ruled that that Members of Parliament cannot unilaterally increase their remuneration without involvement of the Executive. I wish to reassure you that Parliament has and continues to determine emoluments in total conformity with the provisions of the constitution,” Kadaga said.
It should be recalled that the Supreme Court in a landmark judgment by seven judges in July 2019 upheld a 2016 Constitutional Court verdict that declared Section 5 of the Parliament (Remuneration of Members of Parliament) Act unconstitutional, arguing that MPs cannot unilaterally increase their remuneration without involvement of the Executive.
Led by Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, the other justices included; Stella Arach-Amoko, Rubby Opio-Aweri, Faith Mwondha, Paul Mugamba, Augustine Nshimye and Jotham Tumwesigye who argued that MPs can increase their pay only through a substantive Bill or Motion introduced by the Executive that constitutionally is the one financial authority in charge of revenues and expenditure in the country.
The court also decided that the impugned Section 5 of the Parliament (Remuneration of Members of Parliament) Act and Article 85 of the Constitution, which empowers Parliament to determine emoluments of its members, ought to be read together with Article 93 of the Constitution which bars legislators from enacting a Bill that imposes charge on the Consolidated Fund if not introduced by the government.
The ruling was in response to a petition filed in 2011 by Wilson Mwesigye who described himself as a concerned citizen from Mubende, who petitioned the Constitutional Court challenging decisions by the Parliamentary Commission to increase lawmakers pay based solely on Section 5 of the impugned Act and Article 85 of the Constitution.