Members of Parliament from the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM Party opposed to the proposed lifting of the presidential age limit have resolved to invest the Shs 29 million, given to them to consult over the age-limit bill, in development projects in their constituencies.
Recently, government released Shs 13 billion to facilitate legislators to consult on the Constitution (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2017, which seeks among other things to scrap the presidential age limit.
Each of the MPs received Shillings 29 million.
However, a group of legislators to the proposed amendment returned the money to the finance office at parliament on Wednesday.
They included among others Angelline Osegge, the Soroti Woman MP, Muwanga Kivumbi, Butambala County, William Nzoghu, Busongora North, Medard Lubega Seggona, Busiro, East MP and the Rubaga North MP, Moses Kasibante, Opposition Chief Whip, Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda.
Their NRM colleagues said although they are opposed to bill, they will not return the facilitation money.
Monica Amoding, the Kumi Woman MP, says although the 15 NRM legislators opposed to the bill initially resolved to reject the funds, they have decided to take the money and use it for actual consultations and development projects in their areas.
“The money is from Parliament, for consultations on age limit, so we have decided that we shouldn’t return it, “Amoding said in an interview.
Theodore Ssekikubo, the Lwemiyaga county MP, said they can’t return the money when several Ugandans are languishing in poverty, adding that he will use the money for development activities in his constituency.
Sylvia Rwabogo, the Kabarole Woman MP, says they have agreed to use the money for consultations and not return it as other legislators are doing.
Others MPs who are not returning the money are Mbwatekkamwa Gaffa, the Kassambya County MP, Patrick Nsamba Oshabe, Kassanda North, Alex Ruhunda, Fort portal Municipality, James Kaberuka, Kinkizi West and Buyaga West MP, Barnabas Tinkasimire among others.
The NRM MPs say they will unveil four more MPs from the ruling party who have joined the fight against the proposed amendment.
Some opposition, MPs also say they will not return the money. Betty Aol Ochan, the Gulu Woman MP, says she will use the money to support women and youths groups in her district.
James Akena, the Lira Municipality Member of parliament, said he will use the money for consultations and also facilitate LC 1 elections.
Cecilia Ogwal, the Dokolo Woman MP said there is need to strategise on returning the money.
She said after the money is returned, where it will end.
She however couldn’t state clearly whether or not she will return the money.
Meanwhile, Mathias Mpuuga, the Masaka Municipality Member of Parliament is the latest opposition legislator to return the money.
Mpuuga returned the money to the finance office in parliament on Thursday afternoon.
He told journalists that he couldn’t take the money since it was disbursed illegally as it was never provided for in their budget.