Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Inspectorate of Government (IG) has dropped investigations into bribery allegations against Bukoto South Member of Parliament, Twaha Kagabo.
In August, Kagabo was picked up after he tried to return 40 million Shillings that he reportedly received from the residence of the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among under unclear circumstances.
He was then arrested by the parliamentary police, which handed him to the Inspectorate of Government (IG). Upon arrest, Kagabo was briefly held in custody, questioned and the Inspectorate obtained a statement from him as well as the 40 million which formed part of the evidence. The MP was later released on bond pending further investigations.
According to the Inspector General of Government (IGG), Beti Olive Kamya, the inspectorate has since dropped investigations in the matter since Kagabo, who was the complainant withdrew the case and also apologized to Parliament.
Asked about the fate of the 40 million that was taken as evidence, Farouk Kayondo, the Deputy Spokesperson at the IG said that this money was deposited in the Consolidation Fund.
On 21st September, Parliament adopted a report by the Rules committee pardoning MP Kagabo regarding his bribery allegations against the Speaker.
The report came after the MP took to the floor of parliament and apologized to fellow legislators for “causing an impasse” in regard to money that he recently attempted to return to Parliament.
Kagabo’s move followed a directive made on 9th August 2022 by Speaker Among for the House Rules, Privileges, and Discipline Committee to probe him regarding claims that she gave him 40 million Shillings. Among said that she didn’t know Kagabo’s intention and described his action as an abuse of the institution of Parliament.
The Speaker’s directive came after Kagabo addressed the Shadow Cabinet led by the Leader of Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga, seeking to return the money that had been highly criticized by the public and his party, the National Unity Platform-NUP.
“Some time ago, I received money to the tune of 40 million on my account, and shortly after that I was also invited to pick money…40 million which money, I was told was an arrangement internally from Parliament, and I received this money,” Kagabo told members of the Shadow Cabinet then.
Kagabo said that he had delayed returning the money after soul-searching and getting feedback from his constituency. Kagabo then told Mpuuga that he had picked up the money from the Speaker’s residence and the Leader of the Opposition asked him to return it. Before he could return the money, Kagabo was arrested by the Inspectorate of Government on bribery allegations.
The Inspectorate then said it would prefer charges against the MP once their investigations are completed.
In the Rules committee report presented by Vice Chairperson Charles Onen, MPs confirmed that Kagabo was in breach of the code of a Member of Parliament since he falsely accused the Speaker as per his testimony to the committee.
Onen told parliament that Kagabo told his committee that his false accusation against Speaker Among was due to political pressure and that in a bid to clear his name, he decided to arrange money which he paraded before the media. The Rules committee report states that Kagabo had regretted his actions and sought pardon from the House.
The committee also recommended that Parliament continuously orients members on the rules of procedure with emphasis on conduct. Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa did not allow any debate on the report and the House thereafter adopted it.