THE UGX 10B was yesterday finally sent to Members of Parliament bank accounts a few minutes to Midday, moments before the court order was issued stopping the Parliamentary Commission from dispensing it to Legislators.
We have been reliably informed that, MPs with accounts at Cairo International Bank, Centenary Bank and ABSA have already gotten notifications that UGX 20M has been credited on their accounts.
Yesterday morning, Ntungamo Municipality MP, Gerald Karuhanga and Erute South legislator Jonathan Odur petitioned court seeking to halt the Parliamentary Commission from paying Shs 10 billion to MPs to fight Covid-19 epidemic.
Hours later, the Civil court in Kampala issued an injunction stopping the Parliamentary Commission from dispensing the UGX 10B to Legislators.
Karuhanga and Odur’so celebrations did not last long after learning that their court order was useless, Parliament, Accountant General and BoU had beaten them on the thread of time. By the time we went to press money was already on MPs bank accounts.
HOW M7 DEFENDED CASH GIVE-AWAY
Insiders have informed us that during Monday’s Cabinet meeting, President Museveni said that, “MPs are better than the thieves in Kampala. The money will truly reach villagers through the MPs.”
He was allegedly opposed by a few ministers but after Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa’s submission, those on opposition changed goal posts.
We are told, Prime minister Ndugu Ruhakana Rugunda and Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa initially opposed the idea and had proposed that Ministers set the record to return the money.
In a heated cabinet meeting that sat at State House Entebbe, President Museveni told off a number of Ministers who were lobbying him to block the 10 billion shillings allocated to the Parliamentary Commission for MPs to fight COVID 19.
A source that attended the meeting but preferred anonymity told this media that Museveni supported giving MPs money on grounds that it will finally be distributed among ordinary Ugandans.
“President said unlike the thieves in Kampala, when MPs receive the 20 million, they will share it with the citizens in their respective constituencies which is a good thing”. A source told the News Editor Online.
In the past weeks, parliament has been criticised over a decision to give each legislator 20 million for among other things, sensitising their constituents against COVID- 19.
However several MPs including the opposition Chief Whip and Kira Municipality MP, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda have defended the money give away saying, they will use it to procure food for their constituents who are starving as a result of the government measures to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
However the parliamentary commission maintains that such criticism is misguided since 10 billion accounts for far less than 10% of the 932 billion shillings supplementary budget passed by parliament on 7th April.
Under this budget over 400 billion approved under classified expenditure with 304 billion shillings allocated to mitigate the negative effects of COVID -19
Of this, 104 billion shillings was allocated to the Ministry of Health, 77 billion to the Security Ministry, 59 billion to Relief and Disaster Preparedness for food distribution, 36 billion for Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of ICT 6 billion and KCCA 2 billion shillings.
The 20 million according to sources in the Parliamentary Commission has already been wired on the personal account of each MP despite a High Court ruling ordering a stay of the same.