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MID-WEEK OBSERVER: with John Kakande.

By Vision Reporter

Added 10th December 2002 03:00 AM

OFWONO Opondo, the director of information at the Movement Secretariat, has caused a storm in Parliament with new allegations implicating four MPs in unethical conduct that are tantamount to blackmail and extortion.

OFWONO Opondo, the director of information at the Movement Secretariat, has caused a storm in Parliament with new allegations implicating four MPs in unethical conduct that are tantamount to blackmail and extortion.

MP Bribery Allegations Are Alarming
OFWONO Opondo, the director of information at the Movement Secretariat, has caused a storm in Parliament with new allegations implicating four MPs in unethical conduct that are tantamount to blackmail and extortion.
Ofwono Opondo, appearing before the Presidential and Foreign Affairs Committee on December 4, named MPs Capt. Guma Gumisiriza (Ibanda North), Lt. James Kinobe (Katikamu North) Lydia Balemezi (Mukono) and Apollo Ofwono Yeri (Tororo Municipality) as some of the members who tried to use their positions to get financial favours or (in the case of Balemezi) have indulged in questionable conduct.
It ought to be recalled that Ofwono Opondo, during a Capital Gang talk show on November 2, made startling allegations that two MPs had extorted sh80m from an Asian tycoon promising to fix his tax problems.
Shortly after, Opondo, speaking at a public debate at the Law Development Centre stated that he had received complaints that some of the members of the Parliamentary Committee on Local Government Accounts were blackmailing district accounting officers in order to extort money from them.
In view of this, Opondo was called by the Presidential and Foreign Affairs Committee to substantiate his allegations. He consequently named the four MPs, Capt. Guma, Lt. Kinobe, Balemezi and Ofwono Yeri.
These are extremely serious allegations that need thorough investigations, particularly in view of the personalities involved.
Kinobe is not an ordinary backbencher. He is the chairperson of the influential Parliamentary Movement Caucus.
Kinobe and Yeri are also the chairperson and vice-chairperson respectively of the 15-member Standing Committee on Local Government Accounts Committee (LGAC).
Under the stewardship of Kinobe, the LGAC has become vibrant. This is the first time local government officials are being publicly grilled before the full glare of the media.
Lt Kinobe, Ofwono Yeri and Lydia Balemezi ought to withdraw from LGAC pending investigations against them.
The Rules Committee’s investigations should be expanded to include allegations against Lt. Kinobe, Ofwono Yeri and Balemezi. It should also establish, among other things, whether it was true that the companies concerned were evading taxes. Ends

MID-WEEK OBSERVER: with John Kakande.

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