Hundreds of Ugandan Members of Parliament are choking on millions of shillings they took irregularly, after high court ordered them to refund the money to public coffers.
This comes after Justice Michael Elubu of the High court in Kampala, yesterday ruled in favour of a petition that was filed by two MPs; Gerald Karuhanga of Ntungamo Municipality and Jonathan Odur of Erute South challenging the legality of the allocation of UGX20m to each MP by the Parliamentary Commission.
The ruling came after many MPs had spent the money buying food for distribution to their constituents.
The money had been dubiously included into a supplementary budget for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. In justifying the allocation, Speaker Kadaga told Parliament that she had been approached by some MPs with demands for money to fuel their ambulances to support districts health teams to transport patients during the lock-down period.
The Speaker’s reason was however contradicted by other MPs who said they would use the money to buy relief food for their people.
The allocation has since attracted widespread criticism from different corners of society, including from President Yoweri Museveni who labelled the allocation as morally reprehensible, especially at a time when millions of Ugandans are hurting due to lock-down restrictions.
The ruling has however vindicated a number of MPs from across the political divide including Kyadondo MP Robert Kyagulanyi, Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga and other NRM MPs like Rt. Col. Fred Mwesigye who returned the money to Parliament.