Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party Members of Parliament have reportedly received more Shillings 40 million each amidst tension between the Executive and Legislature over the controversial 10 billion COVID-19 funds.
Uganda Radio Network-URN has learnt that the MPs who started receiving the funds on Friday are a group of 317 legislators who previously supported the lifting of the presidential age limit in the Constitution.
The pay out follows a bitter exchange between the MPs and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni over his statement against the payment of Shillings 20 million to each MP by Parliamentary Commission to aid their fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
President Museveni described the act of allocating funds to MPs as immoral and in return, MPs passed a resolution of Parliament condemning his statement. A week later, another motion could be tabled by a section of NRM legislators applauding the Head of State of his leadership in the country’s fight against COVID-19.
The new motion came after several reported meetings between government chief whip Ruth Nankabirwa and MPs that allegedly meant to calm legislators.
Now just days MPs resolved to applaud the President, a section of NRM legislators who in the past opposed the lifting of the presidential age limit and their colleagues from the opposition have come out to condemn fellow legislators for alleged lack of integrity and receiving more money from the President.
These say that the availed 40 million each is meant to facilitate their colleagues in their constituencies and also help them refund the 20 million earlier provided by the Parliamentary Commission as directed by President Museveni.
The MPs including Lwemiyaga County MP Theodore Sekikubo, Kumi Woman MP Monica Amoding, Kalungu West MP Joseph Ssewungu and Ntungamo Municipality MP Gerald Karuhanga say that the 317 MPs are slated to receive a total of 100 million each.
Amoding accused Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa of allowing her office to be a channel for bribes to legislators.
Sekikubo reveals that even some NRM MPs who recently defended Speaker Rebecca Kadaga’s stance on the controversial 20 million have been left out on the cash out.
These MPs demanded that the Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa who allegedly distributed the money at different locations in Kampala explains it’s source.
But MP Ssewungu says that this is partly a bribe to MPs in order to block the National Social Security Fund-NSSF Bill which is meant to provide a mid term access to contributors of 20 percent before their mandatory retirement age.
MP Karuhanga who recently challenged the Parliament COVID-19 cash in court vowed to once again challenge the pay out to NRM legislators.
However, Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa has refuted the payment of Shillings 40 million to the legislature saying that those alleging the pay out feel bad that the President was recently applauded by Parliament for his work towards the fight against COVID-19.