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Parliament admits junior staff got billions for Speaker Among’s CSR activities

Speaker of Parliament Rt Hon Anita Annet Among (Photo/File)

Kampala, (UG): The Director of Public and Corporate Affairs at Parliament, Mr Chris Obore has admitted that billions of taxpayer’s money was deposited on personal accounts of some of its staff on behalf of Speaker Anita Among’s activities.

Mr Obore revealed this during an audio space on X (formerly Twitter) organised last evening (Tuesday) by the Agora Discourse, in response to the recent exposure on social media in which the Speaker is embroiled in a whopping Ugx400m weekly expenditure with several of the junior staff at parliament enlisted in the saga.

Mr Obore who is among the staff enlisted in the extravagant expenditure, however, clarified the money in question was, however not deposited for personal use.
“Parliament is a public organ which carries out corporate social responsibility and this money was channelled into individual accounts to cater for these CSRs,” he said, adding that the Speaker has been using some junior parliamentary staff to run her errands due to several commitments she has.

He added; “The question should be what was the money for and how was it spent. Instead of just attacking, let us be fair. I don’t want to condemn Anita for investing in her community yet there are other leaders who have looted government more but did nothing.”

In one of the alarming expenses seen by this website, a staff under the Speaker’s office, Mr Okwi Emmanuel Emuron on April 17, 2023, received Shs 115m for Among’s consultation activities in the Acholi Sub-Region, while two months later, on 19th June 2023, he received a whopping Shs460m as advance facilitation for evaluation of the impact of her CSR activities.

Mr Obore, in the same expenditure list, came into the limelight with an alarming Shs655m payment to him for the advance to engage Speaker Among’s CSR activities in Bukedea and Kumi districts in June 2023. Refer below for other extracted expenses under the Speaker

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The document, shared by Ms Agather Atuhaire, an activist with Agora Discourse via her X-platform came in the wake of the ongoing #UgandaParliamentExhibition campaign on social in which officials who work at parliament are exposed in the unaccountable expenses that leave question marks in the public domain.

The document, which Ms Atuhaire says is part of the report of the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) shows that on average, the Speaker of Parliament spends Shs400m per week, and Shs1.6b a month. This means in a year, the Speaker’s expenses alone shoot up to more than Shs20b.

ALSO READ: How Parliament ‘spent’ Shs600m on Speaker Among, Magogo Kenya Holiday

Mr Obore however said crucifying the junior staff under parliament was unfair because the funds are meant for the CSR activities of the Speaker and not for the personal benefits of the implicated staff, as alleged.

Atuhaire however challenged Mr Obore to make the documents public if he thinks he the information publicised on social is falsfied and exaggerated.
“I got the document showing trips of Speaker Among from the EFMS and I reaffirm that they are true. I challenge Obore to bring his, as well or take me to court since it will compel the Bank of Uganda and Ministry of Finance to bring the documents to court,” Atuhaire said.

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In the ongoing #UgandaParliamentExhibition championed by a section of Ugandans led by Ms Atuhaire and a senior cartoonist and satirist, Dr Jimmy Spire Ssentongo, top issues have been the alleged corruption, graft, unclear expenditure, nepotism, lack of transparency and diversion of funds at parliament chambers with Speaker Among being at the helm.

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