President Yoweri Museveni has promised government will set up a special fund to cater for the welfare of former Members of Parliament (MPs) and their families.
“We are going to work on the welfare of former MPs. How can we fail to look after 1,000 people yet we are looking after tens of thousands of civil servants,” Museveni said.
The president, who was presiding over the award of golden jubilee medals to former members of parliament from the 1st to the 9th Parliament at Serena Hotel in Kampala on Monday, noted that this has been prompted by several pleas from some of those awarded medals.
“The government can get a grant and put it in that fund and say this one covers those who were there before. We have the contacts. All the families are known,” said Museveni.
He however noted that for the deceased former MPs, a uniform package will be given and it will be up to the family to see how it will be utilized. A total 1,162 former and current members of parliament got the golden jubilee medal award at the function.
Among the first recipients were the Chief Justice Bert Katureebe, the deputy speaker Jacob Oulanya and the Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda.
Some key opposition figures snubbed the ceremony. They included FDC’s Dr.Kiiza Besigye, and Winnie Byanyima who are currently abroad, and Democratic Party president Norbert Mao, others turned up pick the medal.
Among the opposition figures that were decorated include the Conservative Party’s John Ken Lukyamuzi, Democratic Party’s Mathias Nsubuga Birekeraawo and FDC’s Elijah Okupa.
Former Prime Minister Kintu Musoke who also picked a medal took a stance at the current crop of MPs for being overly money-minded.
“During our time parliament was purposeful but it has now lost focus. These young members of parliament have been derailed. They think being a member of parliament is a way enriching one’s self,” Kintu said.
According to Kadaga, Parliament in conjunction with the Presidential Awards Committee, had initially planned to award members of the 9th Parliament in 2013 in Tororo, but after the function did not take off , they thought of including other former Mps since independence.
For his part the national chairman of the Presidential Awards Committee Gen. Elly Tumwine urged those who received the medals to remain exemplary and continue to offering service to Uganda.
“These medals are a property of the people of Uganda and you are supposed to take care of them, look after them, love them and put them on as a sign of pride for wherever you will go, to show that you served the people of Uganda,”said Tumwine.
“You have been recognized and everyone should hold you in that respect and esteem. If you lose it, you should immediately report to the police that you have lost the property and honor of the people of Uganda and you get a police report for a replacement of your medal.”
PICTORIAL: All former Uganda Members of Parliament (MPs), from the 1st to 9th Parliament, were today honoured with Golden Jubilee Medals.
LIST OF MPs for awards 2016