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MPs Accuse Colleagues of Accepting Bribes to Reconcile with NRM

A total of 23 MPs were paraded before President Yoweri Museveni by the government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa during a briefing at Ngoma State Lodge in Nakaseke District yesterday. In her citation, Nankabirwa said the MPs had apologized for voting against the amendment of the constitution which lifted the cap on the presidential age.

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Three legislators have accused the ruling National Resistance Movement –NRM party of bribing their colleagues who were allegedly reconciled with the party at the just concluded parliamentary Caucus retreat.  

A total of 23 MPs were paraded before President Yoweri Museveni by the government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa during a briefing at Ngoma State Lodge in Nakaseke District yesterday. In her citation, Nankabirwa said the MPs had apologized for voting against the amendment of the constitution which lifted the cap on the presidential age.  

Those arraigned before the president included Fort Portal Municipality MP Alex Ruhunda, Kabarole Woman MP Sylvia Rwabwogo, Mubende Municipality MP Anthony Semmuli, Dokolo South MP Felix Okot Ogong, among others. Several of these MPs faced criticism by the party for their open defiance during the age limit debate.    

But their counterparts John Baptist Nambeshe, Barnabas Tinkasiimire and James Acidri say that some of their colleagues had been compromised and used to achieve political capital for President Yoweri Museveni, who was endorsed by the Caucus as the party’s sole candidate in the 2021 polls.   Nambeshe says that it is insensible to apologize for voting the will of the people. 

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Nambeshe says a resolution that declared President Yoweri Museveni as a sole candidate for the NRM in forthcoming polls, should have been a clear warning to MPs that the party was going against its own constitution which does not provide for ring-fencing of positions.   

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Buyaga West MP Barnabas Tinkasiimire said that it is characteristic of President Museveni to embarrass people who have been opposing him.   Tinkasimire says that the MPs received 50 million Shillings each to support President Museveni’s sole candidature.   

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Maracha East County MP, James Acidri said that he is not surprised that some of their colleagues could have negotiated their way with the president adding that the move is a testament that integrity and principled leadership still elude Uganda.  

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But Kabarole Woman MP Sylvia Rwabwogo denied receiving any bribe to attend the NRM Caucus retreat or even to be paraded before the president. Rwabwogo says the only funding she received was 1 million Shillings which was given to each of them as facilitation to travel to Kyankwanzi.

She also denied apologizing for having voted against the removal of presidential age limits in the Constitution saying that there was no way she could apologize since she only voted according to the will of her constituents.      

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Rwabwogo acknowledged that she voted in support of President Museveni’s sole candidature despite having voted against the removal of the presidential age limits, noting that she could not go against the party’s Central Executive Committee.    

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Efforts to reach MPs Ruhunda, Semmuli and Okot Ogong were futile.

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