LOP returns Age Limit money

LOP5The Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Winfred Kiiza, has rejected and returned the Shs 29 million given by the Parliamentary Commission to each MP for consultations about the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

Kiiza said that the funds had not been properly appropriated by Parliament as required by the Constitution and other laws.

She added that the funds should instead be given to other government ministries or departments including the Ministry of Health, Education and the Judiciary where staff have either taken or threatened to take industrial action over meagre salaries and facilitation.

“When money is given to us, as long as the reason is not clear, some of us will find it hard to take the money,” said Kiiza while addressing the media at Parliament on Thursday.

Kiiza was flanked by Hon. Roland Mugume (FDC, Rukungiri), who also returned the money making a total of Shs 58 million. This brings to 11 the number of Opposition and Independent MPs who have rejected and returned the money. Others are: Hon. Ibrahim Ssemujju (FDC, Kira Munic.), Hon. Muwanga Kivumbi (DP, Butambala), Hon. Medard Lubega (DP, Busiro East), Hon. William Nzoghu (FDC, Busongora North), Hon. Moses Kasibante (Ind., Rubaga North), Hon. Mathias Mpuuga (Ind., Masaka Munic.), Hon. Angelline Osege (FDC, Soroti District) and Hon. Abdu Katuntu (FDC, Bugweri).

Kiiza said that since the Parliamentary Commission facilitated MPs to consult their constituents on issues before the House, it would be double payment for each of them to receive the Shs 29 million. She also said that she needed to know the source of the funds and also whether it was from reallocation. She further questioned why the Government Chief Whip was giving guidelines on how the funds should be used.

Mugume requested that the Ministry of Finance displays the names of MPs that returned the Shs 29 million to government.

“For government to convince me to take this money, it must be through the budget making process. This money was not provided for in the budget; what do we tell the people we asked to refund the Shs 6 billion,” said Mugume.