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We didn’t commit any crime to increase MPs salaries – Kadaga

Speaker Rebbeca Kadaga during Tuesday’s plenary sitting. She defended MPs’ decision to increase their pay. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

KAMPALA – The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has responded to the recent Supreme Court ruling that barred Parliament from increasing their salaries without consulting with the Executive, she maintains that the legislature never committed any illegality in doing so.

In her communication during today’s plenary sitting, the Speaker stressed that the MPs’ emoluments are determined in accordance with the provisions of the constitution and there is no illegality.

“The Supreme Court ruled that Members of Parliament cannot unilaterally increase their remuneration without the involvement of the Executive. I wish to reassure you that Parliament has and continues to determine emoluments in total conformity with the provisions of the constitution,” she said.

It should be recalled that the Supreme Court in a landmark judgment that was overseen by seven judges in July 2019 upheld a 2016 Constitutional Court verdict that declared Section 5 of the Parliament (Remuneration of Members of Parliament) Act unconstitutional.

They argued that MPs cannot unilaterally increase their remuneration without involving the Executive.

Led by Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, the other justices included; Stella Arach-Amoko, Rubby Opio-Aweri, Faith Mwondha, Paul Mugamba, Augustine Nshimye and Jotham Tumwesigye who collectively argued that MPs can increase their pay only through a substantive Bill or Motion introduced by the Executive that constitutionally is the one financial authority in charge of revenues and expenditure in the country.

The court also decided that the impugned Section 5 of the Parliament (Remuneration of Members of Parliament) Act and Article 85 of the Constitution, which empowers Parliament to determine emoluments of its members, ought to be read together with Article 93 of the Constitution which bars legislators from enacting a Bill that imposes charge on the Consolidated Fund if not introduced by the government.

The ruling was in response to a petition filed in 2011, by Wilson Mwesigye who described himself as a concerned citizen from Mubende.

Mr Mwesigye petitioned the Constitutional Court challenging decisions by the Parliamentary Commission to increase the lawmakers’ salaries based exclusively on Section 5 of the impugned Act and Article 85 of the Constitution.

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