On Shs 29 million, some MPs don’t want to hear the word “accountability”

Accountability comes into question as MPs a word many parliamentarians like to throw around when they are asking hard questions of government.

But when it concerns money given to them to consult on the age-limit bill, the word suddenly takes on another meaning.

Some opposition MPs say they have already accounted for the money by returning it to the coffers of parliament.

Others say the only way they can account for the money is by holding the consultation meetings in their respective constituencies.

But how exactly should MPs account for this money taken off the bill paid by taxpayers?

Even before the parliamentary commission released money to facilitate MPs for the ongoing consultations over the contentious age-limit bill, some of them had already started drawing plans.

When the Shs 29 million to each MP finally landed on their accounts on October 24, the tune changed.

The eccentric Rubaga South legislator, Kato Lubwama, did not mince words, telling The Nile Post he spent the money a few minutes after it was reflected on his account.

“If it were possible to have about even Shs 8 billion, I would still withdraw all of it and distribute to the people of Rubaga who are wallowing in poverty and misery Because the money belongs to Ugandans, its they who pay taxes”

Others MPs expressed mixed reactions about the facilitation; some saying it was not adequate.

Medard Ssegoona, the Busiro East MP said: "We will put it to use by returning it because it is what we agreed  led by the leader of opposition. That is our plan. There are so many things involved during consultations  such as mobilisation. We must put announcements over radio . We need tents, chairs and even people sometimes expect a transport refund."

So how will the voters, from whose taxes the Shs 13 billion was derived, know how exactly the MPs spent the money?

Chris Obore, the director communications at parliament said no rigorous accountability shall be required.

“This money is given to facilitate the policy processes.The accountability for this money is more political than paper,” Obore said.

Ramathan Ggoobi, an economist with the Makerere University Business School (MUBS) said some form of accountability needs to be imposed on the MPs.

He said: “How do you rely on political accountability?because these are elected MPs, They will say they were in the constituency and that will be all.”

But Obore  said the reason there is corruption is because people believe in paper accountability which can be cooked.

 

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