Members of Parliament have continued to give contradictory responses towards the recent controversial disbursement of 40 million Shillings they allegedly received on their accounts.
While speaking to Uganda Radio Network in an interview, several legislators have confirmed receipt of the money while others have remained either mute or out rightly denied ever receiving the cash.
Joyce Baagala Ntwaatwa, the Mityana District Woman Representative disclosed that she received money on her account but she couldn’t confirm the source of the funds. “Everyone received the money but we still don’t know whether it’s payment for our gratuity,” Baagala said.
However, her Leader of Opposition – LoP in Parliament, Mathias Mpuuga who superintends over 109 lawmakers from the opposition political parties such Forum for Democratic Change – FDC, Democratic Part – DP, Uganda People’s Congress – UPC, People’s Progressive Party-PPP and Justice Movement – JEMA insists that he did not receive the money.
Kilak South Constituent MP Gilbert Olanya also confirmed receipt of the cash.
“All MPs were given 40 million,” Olanya said. “Some members took loan and they directed where the 40 million should go e.g I directed mine to be sent to Parliament SACCO and it was done so. I am not aware of any other 40 million Shillings paid out to the MPs apart from the gratuity.”
LOP Mpuuga reiterated that upon receipt of the information about the receipt of the money, NUP leadership convened meetings with MPs under its ticket and advised them to return the money in question or face reprimand.
In a letter dated June 14th 2022, Parliament has distanced itself from the alleged cash disbursement to the MPs. Chris Obore, the Director of Communication and Public Affairs at Parliament said that the House was not aware of such transactions.
Obore observed that the alleged payment was ‘a deliberate, persistent smear campaign against the leadership of Parliament’, adding that any payment to MPs by the Parliamentary Commission is charged on the Consolidated Account, and remitted to an individual MP’s bank account.
Obore pointed out that the MPs who claim to have received the money unlawfully are duty-bound under Section 10 of the Penal Code Act 2002 (as amended) to declare it to the Inspectorate of Government – IG for proper investigation.