KAMPALA – The Parliamentary Commission has written to Members of Parliament and asked them to account for the Shs20 million controversially allocated to them for the fight against coronavirus.
In a May 12 letter addressed to all MPs, Clerk to Parliament Jane Kibirige said those who had not yet utilised the funds by May 5 to pay it to their respective district taskforces in line with the court ruling and the directive of the President.
“Pay the funds to the District Task Force in which the Member of Parliament is incorporated, through the Chief Administrative Officer of that district; for Members of Parliament representing a special interest group, pay the funds to the National Task Force; or, return the funds to the Parliamentary Commission in accordance with the communication from the Clerk to Parliament to Members of Parliament dated April 22,” Ms Kibirige’s letter reads in part.
The Clerk said those who had spent the money before the May 5 court ruling will file accountability showing how they spent the money.
“Please ensure that your accountability is submitted to the Clerk to Parliament/Accounting Officer of Parliament as soon as possible but in any case not later than Wednesday May 27” the letter reads in part.
The development is a victory for the Executive over the Legislature in a rope-pulling scenario that has dominated the government during the lockdown over Covid-19.
Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga last month said the Legislature was under attack from the Executive and the Judiciary, saying the latter were victimising Parliament for the budgetary allocation without looking at the bigger Classified Expenditures of the other arms of government.
President Museveni accused Parliament of usurping the powers of the Executive by allocating MPs Shs20m towards the fight against Coronavirus.
In a letter dated April 28, the President said it was morally incomprehensible for MPs to spend part of the supplementary budget before it had been approved.
On April 8, the House passed a Shs923b Supplementary Budget for Covid-19, allocating themselves Shs10b of the money.
“First of all, it is unconstitutional. Both in logic and law, it cannot be correct that the Head of Government, the President, through the Ministers responsible, submits a plan for expenditure to Parliament, and, then, Parliament reshuffles the priorities and creates its own against the President” The President’s letter reads in part.
He accused Parliament of reshuffling government priorities without his authority.
“For parliament to unilaterally reshuffle the priorities of the government, it means that there is no need to have the president and the executive branch of government,”