Bobi Wine lists 10 reasons 'Mpuuga's Shs500m award is corruption'

Politics

KAMPALA | The National Unity Platform (NUP) president, Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, has outlined ten compelling reasons why he considers the allocation of 500 million Ugandan shillings to the former Leader of Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga to be unethical and illegal.

The controversy arose from a meeting held by the Parliamentary Commission on May 6, 2022.

Mpuuga and other prominent figures attended this meeting, during which a total sum of 1.7 billion shillings was reportedly allocated.

Mpuuga allegedly received Shs500 million, while three other commissioners each received Shs400 million.

The details of this allocation only became public knowledge nearly two years later when the meeting minutes were leaked.

In a statement, Kyagulanyi asserted that not only was this allocation unethical, but it also violated various laws and principles.

He pointed out several key issues, including the lack of justification for such a substantial sum, the absence of a legal basis for a "Service Award" to the Leader of the Opposition, and the potential conflict of interest in Mpuuga's involvement in discussions related to personal enrichment.

"In the widely shared minutes of the Parliamentary Commission, it was clearly indicated that the said money was 'person to holder,' meaning that it would not extend to any of the former or subsequent Leaders of the Opposition. They would be the first and last to receive this money," stated Kyagulanyi.

Kyagulanyi highlighted the inconsistency in Mpuuga's position, initially acknowledging the impropriety of the allocation and issuing an apology, only to later retract and attempt to justify the actions.

During a meeting with Mpuuga, Kyagulanyi questioned the lack of consultation with the NUP leadership on such a significant matter, emphasizing the importance of transparency and accountability within the party.

NUP president Robert Kyagulanyi with Mathias Mpuuga who was taking over as LoP

Kyagulanyi's accusations extended beyond Mpuuga, implicating other members of the Parliamentary Commission and raising broader concerns about governance and expenditure in Uganda.

He drew parallels with previous instances of alleged corruption within the government, underscoring the NUP's commitment to combating such practices and advocating for fiscal responsibility.

Kyagulanyi called for Mpuuga to publicly apologize and resign from the Parliamentary Commission, stressing the importance of upholding ethical standards and restoring public trust.

These allegations by the NUP leader have sparked widespread debate and scrutiny, underscoring the ongoing challenges of corruption and accountability in Ugandan politics.

In addition to the aforementioned issues, Kyagulanyi highlighted the following points:

Conflict of Interest: Kyagulanyi referred to Section 9(1) of the Leadership Code Act (2002), which prohibits leaders from participating in discussions involving self-enrichment.

Despite this, Mpuuga and three other National Resistance Movement (NRM) Commissioners allegedly allocated themselves substantial sums of taxpayers' money without hesitation, raising concerns about their ethical conduct and commitment to serving the public interest.

Legality: Kyagulanyi pointed out the absence of any legal basis for the alleged 'Service Award' granted to Mpuuga and his colleagues.

He emphasized that such an award, amounting to a total of Shs1.7 billion, lacked legislative approval and violated established norms governing parliamentary expenditures.

Furthermore, Kyagulanyi referenced a Supreme Court ruling that declared similar actions illegal and criminal, highlighting the gravity of the allegations.

Ethical Considerations: Kyagulanyi questioned the morality of Hon. Mpuuga and other commissioners awarding themselves additional benefits on top of their regular salaries and allowances.

He argued that such actions contradicted the principles of public service and represented a gross misuse of taxpayers' money.

Lack of Consultation: Kyagulanyi expressed disappointment over Mpuuga's failure to consult with the NUP leadership regarding such a significant matter.

He lamented learning about the allegations through social media, raising doubts about transparency and communication within the party ranks.

Mpuuga addressing journalists over Zaake (right) and his fallout with the Commission and Speaker Among.

Call for Accountability: In light of these revelations, Kyagulanyi called for Mpuuga and the implicated commissioners to publicly apologize and step down from their positions.

He emphasised the need for transparency, accountability, and adherence to ethical standards, cautioning against the erosion of public trust in Uganda's democratic institutions.

"For these reasons, we believe that this was an extreme act of corruption, which Hon. Mpuuga initially admitted and apologized for. It is on record. It was both illegal and immoral, regardless of the heavy words used to defend it," stated Kyagulanyi.

However, in a statement on Friday, Mpuuga refuted claims of fraudulently receiving a Shs500 million 'service award' from Parliament. He asserted that the allocation was legitimate, approved by a Commission, and scrutinized by relevant parliamentary committees for legality, feasibility, sustainability, and relevancy.

Mpuuga reiterated that there's a deliberate and funded campaign to tarnish his character, pledging to sacrifice himself to restore sanity and 'common sense' in national and party politics.

He condemned the undermining of his work by party leaders, including hiring bloggers to insult him, yet he remained committed to serving above self.

Mpuuga's response comes after the NUP party issued a statement, shared by party president Robert Kyagulanyi, advising him to step down from the Parliamentary commissioner position due to the controversial Shs500 million 'service award' allegedly allocated to him while serving as Leader of Opposition.

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