By Mukomboozi Joshua
As the country is under lockdown that is affecting the business and lives of people the political class of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party Members of Parliament have reportedly received 40 million Shillings each more amidst tension between the Executive and Legislature over the controversial 10 billion COVID-19 funds.
The African News Journal has reliably learnt that the NRM Legislators started receiving the cash on Thursday at Katikati Bar and Restaurant in Kampala a group of 317 MPs who previously supported the lifting of the presidential age limit in the Constitution and loyal to the party positions.
The payment of these funds follows a bitter verbal fight between the MPs and President Yoweri Museveni over his statement against the payment of Shillings 20 million to each MP by Parliamentary Commission to aid their fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
President Museveni described the act of allocating funds to MPs as immoral and in return, MPs passed a resolution of Parliament condemning his statement. A week later, another motion could be tabled by a section of NRM legislators applauding the Head of State of his leadership in the country’s fight against COVID-19.
The new motion came after several reported meetings between government chief whip Ruth Nankabirwa and MPs that allegedly meant to calm legislators.
Now just days MPs resolved to applaud the President, a section of NRM legislators who in the past opposed the lifting of the presidential age limit and their colleagues from the opposition have come out to condemn fellow legislators for alleged lack of integrity and receiving more money from the President.
These say that the availed 40 million each is meant to facilitate their colleagues in their constituencies and also help them refund the 20 million earlier provided by the Parliamentary Commission as directed by President Museveni.
The MPs including Lwemiyaga County MP Theodore Sekikubo, Kumi Woman MP Monica Amoding, Kalungu West MP Joseph Ssewungu and Ntungamo Municipality MP Gerald Karuhanga say that the 317 MPs are slated to receive a total of 100 million each.
some of the rebel NRM MPs who included Monica Amoding, Theodre Sekikubo defended Speaker Rebecca Kadaga’s stance on the controversial 20 million have been left out on the cash out and went ahead to accuse Ruth Nankabirwa the Government Chief Whip of allowing her office to be a channel for bribes to legislators.
However Kalungu west MP Joseph Ssewungu told The African News Journal that paying NRM legislators 40 million shillings on top of 20 million classified as a bribe as a token to block the National Social Security Fund-NSSF Bill which is meant to provide a midterm access to contributors of 20 percent before their mandatory retirement age.
When contacted the Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa has refuted the payment of Shillings 40 million to the legislature saying that those alleging the payout feel bad that the President was recently applauded by Parliament for his work towards the fight against COVID-19.
However some opposition Legislators led by Gerald Karuhanga who recently challenged the Parliament COVID-19 cash in court vowed to once again challenge the pay out to NRM legislators.