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Parliament Passes Motion Expressing Displeasure To Museveni Over Shs10bn COVID-19 Money

The fight between the Legislature and the Executive deepened on Thursday afternoon when Parliament considered and passed a motion seeking to express displeasure on what MPs call disparaging statement against Parliament by President Yoweri Museveni who blasted Parliament for using the COVID-19 crisis to award each MP Shs20m to ostensibly fight Coronovirus.

Opposition Chief Whip and Kira Municipality MP, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda moved the motion without notice, seeking Parliament to express itself against the disparaging remarks by the President over the Shs10 billion that was allocated to Parliament, with each MP walking away with Shs20m  for  COVID-19 activities. 

“The purpose of this motion is to advise the President that he must use the official channels of communication when he wants to communicate to Parliament. We don’t expect a head of state to join a mob of those throwing mud at Parliament,” Ssemujju said.

Democratic Party Chief Whip in Parliament, Joseph Ssewungu joined the debate, saying:  “Let us fight this kind of situation. I was surprised that the Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija was denying knowledge of the allocation of Shs10 billion and yet he went ahead and said he had bought food for his constituency.”

Another Lawmaker, Maurice Kibalya (Bugabula South County) in support of other MPs used the opportunity to attack  the  Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah for throwing Parliament under the bus, when he disregarded the directive of the Speaker, in preference for the President’s and returned his money to Omoro district task force.

Kibalya said that the Deputy Speaker betrayed the House when he publicly returned the Shs20m, yet he is a member of the Parliamentary Commission

 Bugiri Municipality’s Asuman Basalirwa called for unity within Parliament remarking,  “At no time shall we surrender our power to the executive. Anybody denigrating the Speaker and Parliament and we follow that person, we are making a mistake. It was unfair for the President to make statements that brought disrepute to this House.”

Patrick Nsamba (Kassanda North) said, “It is very unfortunate, for the President, to sit in one of his talk shows, and start lambasting parliament. The President had no moral authority to speak about the MPs who are supporting their people.”

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga had no kind words for the President noting, “You know this ‘non-essential service’ is the one which has sat here and processed the budget of this country. We have passed laws during these hard times.”

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