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‘Speaker Yet To Take Official Holiday, The Alleged Shs600m Payment is Trash’

The alleged Shs600m payment by Parliament of Uganda to Speaker Anita Among (pictured) for a two-month holiday in Nairobi, Kenya is false.

“The correct context of this false two months allegedly paid out to Speaker Anita Among is that the Speaker and her spouse, like other category of specified public officials in Parliament and Government, are entitled to holiday, which in her case is one month, to a destination of her choice.

What is amusing is that she has never even taken that leave since she became Deputy Speaker and Speaker,” sources within Parliament say, adding that it has been impractical for the Speaker to take this holiday or any leave for that matter since becoming Deputy Speaker and subsequently Speaker, due to work commitments.

“The exception has been her maternity leave, which she took to deliver her babies at the Kampala Hospital, in October 2023, which lasted only one month before she resumed work to coordinate preparations for the successfully conducted CSPOC 2024 meetings,” the source says, adding that the Speaker and her family has not gone for holiday yet, owing to her busy official schedule, and will be taking this one month holiday in a phased manner spread out across the calendar year, utilizing upcoming recess and end of the critical budgeting process, and other opportunities as they may arise to spare some critical time as a mother and wife to bond with her family away from official duty.

“It must be noted that Speaker Among has been very deliberate on cutting travel abroad in Parliament, leading by example – and she is undoubtedly one of the least travelled public officials in Uganda – which   has ensured that the 11th Parliament commits adequate time and human resource to process official business efficiently and effectively,” the source says.

It is therefore no miracle that when the 11th Parliament hit the half term mark in December 2023, had a total of 257 sittings, 75 Bills passed, 109 resolutions adopted, 14 motions passed, 27 Private Members granted leave to introduce Bills, and 126 reports processed and adopted.

“This is why it was easy for the Speaker to categorically state the same when reached out to by an online media organization  for comment on the allegations, admitting her lawful entitlement for paid holiday, but clearly refuting the wild, malicious and inauthentic exaggerated figures being spread to diminish her public standing,” the source says, adding: “The biggest problem with the online crusaders is that this is no longer a quest for accountability, but lies and half truths are cleverly cherry-picked to score a political point and blackmail the Speaker.”

According to the source, the Speaker believes in honest, truthful, well-intended engagements with all seekers of truth and accountability, if questions and enquiries are put to her office, and not allow the lies, distortions and hate advocacy to derail her from executing her constitutional mandate.

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