Uganda: We Didn't Take Shs40m, NRM Lawmakers Claim

Members of Parliament who subscribe to the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party have dismissed reports that they each received Shs40m for supporting the removal of the presidential age limit clause from the Constitution in 2017.

The said money was reportedly handed over to them by Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa.

Lwemiyaga County MP Theodore Ssekikubo and Kumi Municipality MP Monica Amoding last week during a press conference said they had been informed by their friends that money was being dished out but that they had failed to access the venues where the distribution was taking place.

The two were joined by Ntungamo Municipality MP Gerald Karuhanga and Kalungu West MP Joseph Ssewungu who attacked NRM MPs for wasting taxpayers' money.

Addressing a press conference yesterday at Parliament, the ruling party MPs accused the above mentioned MPs of hiding under immunity of Parliament to blackmail their colleagues.

Mr Solomon Silwanyi, a parliamentary commissioner, who is said to have distributed the money in question, asked Mr Ssekikubo and his group to bring evidence.

"Any person who said that I was giving out money to NRM MPs was under the influence of drugs. People are running mad in this country and the government should come out and regulate the consumption of drugs in this country," Mr Silwanyi said.

"I have never received or distributed any money to any MP. I have also not stepped at Kati-Kati restaurant where they said money was being distributed for the last six years. People are just looking for cheap popularity," he added.

Kole North MP Bonny Okello said they will officially complain to Speaker Rebecca Kadaga to subject the "self-centered" individuals to disciplinary actions as provided for in their rules of procedure.

He denied receiving any money from the Government Chief Whip.

"From our preliminary investigation, this group is aiming at causing animosity between the Executive and the Legislature so that it can escalate to a constitutional crisis where Parliament will refuse to pass government programmes. Luckily, we have known them early enough together with their funders and we shall bring them to shame," Mr Okello said.

"We have tolerated this blackmail for long and they have made it the norm to abuse their colleagues and walk away scot-free. For now, we have instructed our lawyers to guide us on action to take against these MPs who abuse their immunity to tarnish the institution and the legislators," he added.

The spokesperson of the NRM Parliamentary Caucus, Ms Margaret Muhanga, said some institutions, including the World Health Organisation, have recognised President Museveni for spearheading a successful fight against Covid-19 and that it was useless for the same person to bribe MPs.

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