Members of Parliament attached to the ruling National Resistance Movement have negotiated for and reportedly received Shs40m as an appreciation token for ensuring the constitutional amendments that struck out the age limit.
Nile Post has learnt that about 300 MPs were cashed Shs40m each after a negotiation with the NRM big wigs.
The negotiations were done through Bukooli County MP Solomon Silwanyi and government chief whip Ruth Nankabirwa, who approached President Museveni.
President Museveni turned down the proposal and they sought another hearing, going through NRM vice chairman Moses Kigongo.
Early this week, most members of parliament started receiving their share of Shs40m following a private call from Nankabirwa and Silwanyi respectively.
Nile Post understands that the money was dished out on the basis of who supported the removal of age limit and who did not.
“Some MPs from the ruling party were chased away by their colleagues, they told them their share is with the opposition since they did not support the age limit removal,” an NRM legislator alleged.
The Genesis of the negotiations
Before the COVID-19 crisis, NRM members of parliament had met president Museveni wit a proposal of a token to help them fight back opposition in their respective constituencies.
According to the legislators, their support for the removal of the age limit had impacted their positions in constituencies and needed the money to neutralize situations.
However, Museveni did not give them the money, putting their proposal at an indefinite consideration.
Last month, MPs shared Shs20m each for COVID-19 facilitation, again getting lambasted by Museveni who termed it illogical and illegal, ordering them to return it to their respective districts.
On May 5, 2020, MPs led by Silwanyi, Nankabirwa, and Margaret Muhanga met President Museveni at State House Entebbe with a proposal to allow MPs to distribute relief in their constituencies.
These claimed that they needed money to make this happen, thus they sought the President’s help for a specified amount of cash, which he did not offer, according to sources.
They also reportedly told the president that most MPs had already spent the Shs20m from parliament and needed a cushion to enable them to refund the money.
It is on that basis that they brought up the Shs40m that they had been pushing for, but left State House without an answer from President Museveni.
Nile Post now understands that money has already hit different accounts of the said MPs, and to make the matter quiet, they have tipped journalists in parliament with Shs100,000 each to remain quiet.
Journalists bribed to remain quiet
Journalists covering parliament under their umbrella UPPA (Uganda Parliament Press Association) have each been given Shs100,000 to remain silent about the money sharing.
According to leaked WhatsApp chats, journalists are seen congratulating each other upon receiving the cash, while others are wondering when they will get theirs on mobile money.
According to the UPPA chairperson Moses Mulondo, the said money was COVID-19 relief.
“The money was a relief to most journalists who are no longer working since we were reduced from 270 to 50, so the reports that we were bribed not to report about the Shs40m are false and fake,” Mulondo claimed.
Mulondo does not refute that money could have been paid to journalists and MPs as well.
Indeed, certain members of parliament led by Lwemiyaga legislator Theodore Ssekikubo also accuse the journalists of being bribed to ‘sit on the story’.
MPs accuse colleagues
“Where is the morality? This money is already received by the MPs and we have very good information,” Joseph Ssewungu, Kalungu West MP said.
According to Ssewungu, certain MPs came out complaining that they had been chased from the ‘cake’.
The MPs claimed that they were not making the ‘noise’ because they missed out on the money.
NRM MPs refute claims
Government chief whip, Ruth Nankabirwa labeled the claims ‘wolokoso’ citing that most MPs were only unhappy because NRM MPs upset them with a motion to praise Museveni.
“This comes from a disappointment because we supported the president in a motion. They (opposition) brought a motion to condemn the president and we upset them, so they are taking this the wrong way, they assume we are being paid,” Nankabirwa said.
NRM Parliamentary caucus spokesperson, Magaret Muhanga also dismissed the claims
“If they have made us vomit 20m then why give us more? “ she posed.
Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister for Gender, Labour, and Social Development said in a tweet that the public should not fall for what he called “every rumor”.
“Which is which in this alleged shs40m story? Many have alleged that the NRM MPs already received the shs40m. Now (others) say they will receive. So which is which? Where is it? Let’s be fair. We shouldn’t fall for every rumor!” Tumwebaze said.
Social media users have started a hashtag #Return40m where they’ve expressed disappointment in Members of Parliament who received the money and urged them to return the money if they’re really working for the good id the people they represent.
Museveni meets NRM Executive
The President this week met the NRM Secretary General and National Treasurer Rose Namayanja and State Lodge Nakasero.
Nile Post can not independently verify the subject of their meeting, but sources allege it was regarding the same money.