Six ‘anti-age limit removal’ legislators have today returned the Shs29 million that was credited to their accounts yesterday, ostensibly to facilitate ‘consultative meetings’ in respect to Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi’s private members bill that is aimed at expunging Article 102 (b) that caps presidential eligibility age at 75 years.
So far opposition MPs Muwanga Kivumbi (Butambala), Medard Lubega Sssegona, William Nzoghu (Busongora) Moses Kasibante (Lubaga North), Robinah Ssentongo (Kyotera Woman) and Opposition Chief Whip Ibrahim Semujju Nganda (Kira Municipality), have collectively returned 174 million, while Gulu Woman MP Betty Ocan Aol said she ‘is divided’ and will consult her voters on what to do with the money.
And, in a press briefing held at Parliament this morning, opposition chief whip Ssemuju Nganda said that opposition legislators had agreed to return the money to authorities in parliament ‘for onward transmission’ to whoever credited it to their accounts.
“This money is what you and me will be asked to pay through different taxes both direct and indirect, therefore we as opposition MPs are taking it back,” Semujju Nganda, the outspoken Kira Municipality MP said.
Yesterday, Chris Obore, the Director of Communications and Public Affairs at the Ugandan Parliament confirmed Shs13 billion had been received from the Ministry of Finance, adding that each of the MPs would get Shs29 million for the two-week exercise.
But according to Semujju, the IGG and Auditor General should investigate the source of the money, since it was not budgeted for by Parliament.
“You are aware on October 13 Mr. Museveni was coaching NRM legislators on how to use it, specifically some MPs told him they don’t want to be taught how they will consult instead they want the money,” he added.
According the MPs opposed to the age limit removal, President Museveni is trying to bribe and influence their thinking to accept and support age limit bill which is currently under scrutiny before the legal and parliament affairs committee, headed by Jacob Oboth Oboth.
In his reaction to the Shs29 million, Butambala legislator and shadow internal affairs minister Muwanga Kivumbi, said: “a good leader must bring hard-earned money not dirty money.”