This followed an attempt by MP Kagabo to return the money that was highly criticized by the public and his party, the National Unity Platform-NUP to the Leader of Opposition (LOP), Mathias Mpuuga during a Shadow Cabinet meeting.
The Rules Committee of parliament has summoned the Leader of
Opposition Mathias Mpuuga together with the Bukoto South Member of Parliament Twaha Kagabo to explain the source of the 40 million Shillings that "they have been throwing around."
The Speaker of
Parliament Anita Among directed the committee to probe Kagabo's claims that he received 40 million Shillings from her residence and intended to return it to the source. While Among denies giving out the money, She also questioned the intention of the MP whose accusation, she says, is tantamount to abuse of the institution of Parliament.
This followed an
attempt by MP Kagabo to return the money that was highly criticized by the
public and his party, the National Unity Platform-NUP to the Leader of
Opposition (LOP), Mathias Mpuuga during a Shadow Cabinet meeting.
“Some time ago, I
received money to a tune of 40 million on my account, and shortly after that I
was also invited to pick money…40 million which money, I was told was an
arrangement internally from parliament. And I received this money,” Kagabo
partly told members of the Shadow Cabinet.
Kagabo said that he had taken long to
return the money after soul searching and getting feedback from his Constituency. But amidst the controversy, the Speaker asked the Rules Committee now chaired by Bugweri County MP Abdul Katuntu to probe the matter.
Katuntu told journalists at Parliament that the committee has held its preliminary meetings and resolved to summon MP Kagabo and the Leader of Opposition to ascertain whether it is true that Kagabo tried to return the
money as alleged on the Hansard.
“We need the Leader of Opposition because he is the
only one to whom it is alleged that money was being returned when you look
at the Hansard. That’s all. Because he is the only one mentioned. We want to
know from the LOP’s office whether there was any money allegedly returned by MP
Kagabo Twaha,” Katuntu explained.
He added that after having an
interaction with the two witnesses, his committee will decide on how to proceed
with the matter.
//Cue in; “all the interactions…
Cue out…gave him money.”//
Katuntu said that they have decided to write to Kagabo early
enough so that he prepares to respond to the allegations against him according
to the Hansard record, adding that his committee
will afford all parties in the issue an opportunity to be heard in a
//Cue in; “this committee has…
Cue out…talked to him.”//
Asked why the committee has not considered
interacting with the Speaker, Katuntu said that other
witnesses would only be considered after Kagabo responds to the allegations
as captured on Hansard.
//Cue in; “what we are…
Cue out…record can show.”//
The Inspectorate of Government (IG) is also carrying out investigations into the
matter. Last week, the IG briefly held MP Kagabo and obtained a statement from
him as well as the 40 million Shillings. No charges have been preferred against
the MP yet.
In June this year,
the media was awash with reports indicating that legislators had received
40 million Shillings ahead of the budget approved under questionable
NUP described the cash handout as immoral and illegal and
directed its MPs to return the money when some legislators approached the party
leadership for guidance. The decision was reached in a crisis meeting chaired
by the NUP president, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu at the party headquarters.
In a statement, NUP alleged that the ruling
National Resistance Movement (NRM) MPs were receiving the money in cash from
Parliament, while the Opposition and Independent MPs were receiving it from the
residence of Speaker, Anita Among.
However, Parliament dismissed the alleged
payout to the legislators. Chris Obore, the Director of Communication and
Public Affairs at Parliament, said that the institution was not aware of the
transaction and instead advised NUP to interest the accountability Committees
in the matter if indeed there had been any such payment outside the known
procedures of parliament.