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Monday,July 06,2020 18:47 PM

Two MPs petition court over sh10b COVID-19

By Farooq Kasule

Added 21st April 2020 06:39 PM

Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda says he will not return the money because he needs it to buy food for his voters.

Two MPs petition court over sh10b COVID-19

Ntungamo Municipality MP, Gerald Karuhanga. Photo/File

Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda says he will not return the money because he needs it to buy food for his voters.

COVID-19 | LEGISLATURES

Two members of Parliament have petitioned the court seeking to halt the Parliamentary Commission from paying sh10b to MPs to fight COVID-19.

Ntungamo Municipality MP, Gerald Karuhanga and Erute South legislator Jonathan Odur filed the case against the Attorney General, who is the principal legal advisor to Government in the Civil Division of the High Court on Monday.

The legislators argue that Parliament breached the parliamentary rules of procedure in passing sh10b that MPs are expected to get.

According to the petitioners, the Parliament wrongly passed the money in which each MP is to get sh20m.

This comes barely three days after Members of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) petitioned President Yoweri Museveni over sh10b self-allocation by Parliament to fight COVID-19 pandemic.

CSOs argued that the legislature was not among the essential sectors that had initially been budgeted for by the government to receive any additional funding for the fight against COVID-19.

According to the organizations under their body Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG), parliament using the sh10b in any manner they deem fit, is promoting illegitimacy and undermine the prudent public finance management system.

During the consideration of the sh304b supplementary budget for the fight against COVID-19, Parliament allocated itself sh10b.

From this money, the legislators are each expected to get sh20b, something that has led to a public outcry.

Some MPs have since written to the clerk to Parliament, demanding that such monies should not be sent to their accounts.

According to the petitioners, the money was just smuggled into the report by the budget committee chairperson Amos Lugoloobi without the consent of the committee members.

Karuhanga and Odur said it is this outcry that they are responding to and now want the payment of the money to each legislator halted.

The MPs claim that sh10b was deducted from the Health supplementary budget that was to be used in the fight against COVID-19.

The petitioners warned the legislators who have started receiving the money on their account against using this money warning them of repercussions.

Some legislators said they were not bothered by the petition and will go ahead and receive the money.

Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda says he will not return the money because he needs it to buy food for his voters.

"I have always returned this money but this time around I will not," Ssemujju says.

However, for this case to be heard during the COVID-19 lockdown, the petitioners have to file a certificate of urgency application for the court to adjudicate the matter.

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