Opposition MPs return Shs29m age limit money, others still contemplating

Sam Ibanda Mugabi

Sam Ibanda Mugabi

, Featured

Opposition members of Parliament have flagged off the process of returning the Shs 29million deposited on each of their account intended at facilitating their consultation on the controversial constitutional amendment Bill 2017 that seeks to lift the cap on the Presidential age limit.

Through this they have initiated a memoranda commitment form where each legislator that will return the money is required to sign.

The MPs are now calling voters with the intent of safeguarding the constitution not to accept a share of the 29m from other legislators.

They have also unanimously agreed to write to the office of the IGG to cause an investigation into the source of this money deposited on legislators’ bank accounts as consultation fee for the Magyezi Bill.

They believe this is a bribe intended at enticing MPs to support the age limit Bill.

However, some members are still not willing to return the money citing that they are on pressure from their constituents that they should not risk refunding the money.

At the beginning of the 2001 elections, legislators were given Shs20m each to monitor programs of the National Agriculture Advisory Services.

Four opposition legislators; Nabilah Sempala of Kampala District, Erias Lukwago of Kampala Central, Mukono North’s Betty Nambooze and Latif Ssebagala, Kawempe North, returned the money after Kitgum Woman MP, Beatrice Anywar declared the money was unclean, handing in her share amidst media presence.

In 2004, Shs5 million was given to each NRM MP to amend the Constitution to remove Presidential term limits. No legislator returned the money. However, Lwemiyaga’s Ssekikubo, Nakawa’s Freddie Ruhindi, and Henry Banyenzaki missed out on the “handshake” after failure to prove their allegiance to the party, Ssekikubo later voted in favor of removing term limits. Also Justine Kasule Lumumba (who is now the NRM Secretary General) missed out on the money.

In April 2013, MPs were given Shs5m each on the directive of President to consult their constituents on the controversial marriage and divorce Bill. However, 19 opposition MPs returned the money. The legislators accused the president of using the money to compromise them.

The campaign that was started by Kampala Central MP Mohammad Nsereko and Busongora North MP William Nzoghu, attracted other legislators; Ibrahim Ssemuju Nganda (then Kyadondo East),  Betty Nambooze (then Mukono Woman MP), Muhomed Muwanga Kivumbi (Butambala), Medard Lubega Ssegona (Busiro East), Mathias Mpuuga (Mukono Municipality), Latif Ssebagala (Kawempe North), Kawe Sebuliba Mutumba (Kawempe South), Dr. Michael Lulume Bayiga (Buikwe South), Moses Kasibante (Lubaga North) and Hussein Kyanjo (Makindye West).

Others included; Budadiri County West Nathan Nandala Mafabi, Rukungiri Municipality MP Roland Mugume, Kasese woman MP Winnie Kiza, Gulu woman MP Betty Aol Ocan, Busia municipality MP Kevinah Taaka Wanaha, Mbale municipality MP Jack Wamai Wamanga and Soroti woman MP Angeline Ossege.

At the beginning of political campaigns in 2015, Members of Parliament received Shs100 million each in their personal accounts as fuel arrears to “facilitate” them ahead of the 2016 general election. None returned the money despite opinions relating it to a “timely bribe”.

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