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NUP MPs defy Bobi Wine on Returning Shs40m Cash handout, Party declares next step

The National Unity Platform (NUP) party has in a statement claimed that MPs, including some who subscribe to NUP, have been paid Shs40 million in cash from Parliament , and that Speaker Anita Among was involved in the impugned payments.

Robert Kyagulanyi and some of the party's founders at their headquarters in Kamwokya, Kampala (Photo/File)

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The National Unity Platform (NUP) Members of Parliament have allegedly defied orders of their leader Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, to return the Shs40 million ‘bribe’ received ahead of the National Budget reading.

Although parliament had earlier denied sending any MP the 40m cash handout, some MPs including those who subscribe to the NUP have openly come out and confirmed how they got money given to them as a token of appreciation for allegedly passing a series of bills and approving the Shs 193 billion supplementary budget.

Upon learning the cash bonanza in parliament, Bobi Wine summoned an urgent meeting at the NUP party headquarters in Kamwokya and directed the MPs to take back the money within 48 hours (two days), with effect from Monday June 13 to Wednesday June 15, 2022.

However, this website has learnt that of the 57 NUP members (including the party bigwigs) 40 who had already picked up the money have up to the time of writing refused to take back the funds, portraying a biggest test of all times for the young party leadership.

The opposition chief whip and Manjiya County MP Hon. John Baptist Nambeshe who was in charge of receiving the money from party MPs narrated how he had camped at his office since Tuesday waiting for the MPs but none showed up until he left for other businesses last evening.

“Even those people from whom we were expecting the money from have not yet show up,” Mr Nambeshe said.

Some NUP legislators who talked to the media on this matter laughed off Bobi Wine’s directive and vowed to keep the money ‘come what may’. In fact, some MPs who preferred anonymity admitted receiving the “handshake” money but challenged their principal leader to prove that they received the said cash.

These even went ahead and asked Bobi Wine and other party leaders to do whatever they want and reiterated but vowed not to return the money because they did not know where to take it in the first place.

The MPs also indicated that they cannot take back the money since they were not even sure whether the cash would end up in the right hands or not. Another legislator from Central Uganda said it was “foolhardy for NUP leaders to imagine that MPs would accept to take back the money yet others are going to enjoy it”.

 Other legislators indicated that the money would go to critical projects in their constituencies and advised Mr Nambeshe and “the principal” to “stop the drama”.

The defiant action from the legislators has now forced the party leadership in parliament to summon an emergency caucus meeting to make a decision on the matter.

The NUP deputy spokesperson, Mr. Alex Waiswa Mufumbiro has come out publicly and stated that the MPs who refuse to return the money would have betrayed the people that trusted them. He added that as the party leadership, they will hold another meeting before the end of the week to see a way forward.

Previous bribery incidents parliament

– In 2005, MPs received Shs5m each in order to remove the term limit cap from the 1995 constitution.
– In 2011, parliament wired Shs20m to each of the 329 MPs in parliament, 28 days to the general elections, a day after the ruling party forced through a controversial supplementary budget of Shs602 billion.
– In 2020, MPs took Shs20m each from Covid-19 supplementary budget request

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