KAMPALA – The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has warned MPs to desist from talking about the Sh10bn COVID-19 funds extended to the Parliamentary commission for COVID-19 oversight work, saying it is not their business.
The Speaker’s warning follows growing criticism from a cross section of MPs and the public on how Shs 10b was allocated to parliamentarians after budget cuts from different sectors such as the ministry of health and security among others.
Kadaga defended the Sh10b COVID-19 funds allocation, saying it was for oversight work by the different Parliamentary COVID-19 task forces.
“The issue of Sh10b is an issue of the parliamentary commission, so members stop talking about it because you don’t know about it. Allow the speaker and the commission to speak on your behalf. It is not your business, just go on with your lives,” Kadaga told the MPs during the plenary session on Thursday afternoon.
However, some MPs have since distanced themselves from the Money saying they have not received a single penny and would return it back to the consolidated fund at the earliest opportunity.
MP Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, the Kyadondo East member of parliament who also doubles as the leader of the People Power Movement said he was among those who had not yet received the money.
“Let me clarify that I have not received this money. Should it be deposited on my account, I will immediately order my bank to return it to the Consolidated Fund and demand that it is put to its proper purpose,” MP Kyagulanyi said.
“We must learn to empower institutions and not seek to enrich individuals,” he added.
Mr. Kyagulanyi said, just like many Ugandans, he was surprised and very angry that the Parliament of Uganda allocated 10 Billion Shillings to itself amidst an unprecedented Coronavirus crisis.
“The allocation of this money is not only shameful. It is insensitive to the plight of millions of Ugandans who are facing untold challenges ranging from hunger, sickness and even death,” he added.
On his part, the former president of the Forum for Democratic Change, Dr. Kiiza Besigye wondered what had befallen Uganda’s ‘leaders’.
“Surely, what’s wrong with Uganda’s leaders? Everywhere in the world, leaders are donating their earnings to help the COVID19 fight,” Dr Besigye tweeted.
According to Dr. Besigye, he said that Uganda’s leaders on the other hand see an opportunity to increase their “benefits”!
“MPs getting more than $5,000- each to help them fight Covid19! Stop this habit,” Dr. Besigye said.