Shs 319 million meant for age limit consultations in different constituencies in the country is the total amount of money that has so far been returned by members of parliament from the opposition. The latest additions to reject the age limit cash being; Kasese legislator and leader of opposition in parliament Winfred Kiiza and her deputy also Rukungiri MP; Roland Kaginda Mugume.
The legislators say that the origin of the money isn’t clear and state that this is government’s move to bribe them as a way to maneuver the age limit through.
At about 11:00am, Winfred Kiiza and Roland Mugume walked into the LoP boardroom with a dark briefcase. They were about to announce the return of the Shs29m each.
The return of the cash brings to 11, the total number of MPs who have rejected the age limit money.
“The origin of the money isn’t clear and therefore I will not to use the money that hasn’t been put under parliamentary budget scrutiny. The parliament commission already goes through legal channels to facilitate MPs,” Kiiza said.
This however comes two weeks after the first batch of MPs announced their rejection of the age limit cash. When asked why it had taken her all this while to return the money, Kizza claimed she had been out of the country.
“I have been away, out of the country, that is why I delayed. But as soon as returned, I had to call this press briefing.”
Legislator Roland Mugume however says he was compelled by his electorates in Rukungiri who vowed to withdraw their support for him, if he acts contrary to their expectations.
“I was told to halt my consultations until I return the money first,” Mugume said.
The money, Kiiza says was never approved by the parliamentary commission where she is a member. She rather suggests to be taken back to enhance service delivery in many hospitals that are a mess.
“This money was not given in good faith. I feel morally compelled to return it, especially at a time where many Ugandans are in need of better service delivery. Prosecutors are striking, so are medical workers. This should be given to them. It would be unethical to receive a double payment. This is a bribe. It should be brought back to the national treasury.” Kiiza said.
Other Mps who have returned the money include; Semujju Nganda (Kira Municipality), William Nzou (Busongora North), Muwanga Kivumbi (Butambala)
Moses Kasibante (Rubaga), Mathias Mpuga (Masaka), Angeline Osege (Soroti)
Medard Ssegona (Busiro), Abdul Katuntu (Bugweere county), Kyagulanyi Robert (Kyaddondo East).
The Age Limit bill introduced by Raphael Magyezi on the 27th September seeks to scrap off the presidential age limit of 75