KAMPALA — High Court in Kampala has directed Members of Parliament to return the UGX 20m given to them by Parliamentary Commission supposedly to fight the coronavirus in their constituencies.
Justice Michael Eluba of the High Court on Wednesday April 29 delivered the ruling in favour of MPs Jonathan Odur and Gerald Karuhanga who petitioned Court to halt the transactions after labelling insensitive to the situation.
Justice Elubu ruled that for MPs who can’t return the money directly can send it to their respective district task force.
MPs representing special interest groups have been directed to take the funds to the National Task Force headed by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda
Addressing the country on Tuesday night, President Museveni said the decision by MPs to allocate money to themselves was “bad planning”, and that the move has legal and moral issues.
On the moral side, he said it is unacceptable for MPs “to give themselves money for personal use when the country is in crisis. It is totally unacceptable to me and to the NRM”, [a party he leads and national Chairman].
He explained that he discussed the matter with the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga. His argument was that the legislators had “entered into a trap and you should get out of it”.
“And the best way to get out of the trap is to not spend it on yourself. I told the Speaker, “Take that money and donate it to the district taskforce”,” revealed Museveni.
For the MPs that have already “bought things [with the UGX20m]”, Museveni it is a tricky line to toe, which would only require the Auditor General’s intervention to take a closer look at how exactly the money was spent.
“I know many Ugandans are angry, and may have been diverted from the war [against coronavirus] but don’t be. This will be sorted out,” reassured Museveni.