By Keefa Nuwahereza
Gerald Karuhanga, the Ntungamo Municipality Member of Parliament (MP) and Jonathan Odur, the Erute North MP, have petitioned the High Court Civil Division to block Shs10bn allocated to MPs by Parliament last week, to help them fight the spread of COVID-19 in their constituencies.
The legislators contend in their petition that giving the said contentious money to MPs during this COVID-19 lockdown is not only unfair but also illegal, because it is tantamount to corruption and looting state resources.
Several sections of the media reported last week that Parliament secretly allocated Shs10Bn, from the COVID-19 supplementary budget, to facilitate MPs in the committees established by the House to join national activities in the fight against the pandemic.
We established thatShs5Bn was deducted from the Ministry of Health’s supplementary allocation of Shs104Bn and Shs5Bn from other sectors to realize the Shs10Bn to meet Parliament needs.
“The Committees under Parliament, carrying equally important roles in combating Coronavirus, also needed funds to function and the needful had to be done,” said a source.
While justifying why the MPs need the money, the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga said that the legislators need to fuel their ambulances and facilitate the drivers during the COVID-19 lockdown.
However, some MPs, among them Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine of Kyadondo East constituency, Francis Zaake of Mityana Municipality and a few others have since rejected the money and vowed to return it to government if it’s deposited on their accounts.