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MP Ssekikubo wants parliament recalled from recess, says this is ‘worst time to be legislator’

Kampala, (UG):- Lwemiyaga County Member of Parliament, Hon Theodore Ssekikubo has asked the Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Anita Among, to immediately recall Parliament from recess to respond to corruption allegations and abuse of office that have been unearthed on social media.

“We can’t now walk with our heads high on the streets of Kampala, we smuggle ourselves and bold out. It is not now the best time to be identified as MPs. We are all bundled up, nobody is giving answers, should we all go by rollcall, not me, not me? We are all being castigated and we look bad in the eyes of the public,” Ssekikuubo said on Wednesday, March 13, 2024.

The self-styled NRM Rebel MP also asserted that following allegations made in public that the members of the Parliamentary Commission distributed amongst themselves funds in the name of ‘Service Awards’, some commissioners have gone into hiding.

“Even the Commissioners themselves are in hiding. We are here, we are loitering around the corridors of Parliament, and we can’t see anybody. These are very disturbing issues and we are calling on the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Clerk to live up to their calling to restore Parliament. Parliament is being run down,” Ssekikuubo said.

“I know we don’t look good, but they shouldn’t take advantage of the vacuum where the Speaker and Deputy Speaker are in disarray,” he added.

Clerk Mwesigye defends Mpuuga Shs500 payout

The Clerk to Parliament, Adolf Mwesige, has since defended the service award of sh500m that was given to the former Leader of the Opposition in Parliament (LOP), Mathias Mpuuga.

“The payment, if made today or tomorrow, is legal and proper. It is also budgeted for because that budget which gives a service award is approved by Parliament and the Executive,” he said.
Mwesigye termed the pay ‘akasiimo’, meaning a token of appreciation.

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“The office of LOP is a constitutional office. Although there is a lacuna in the law, the Parliamentary Commission has powers under the Administration of Parliament Act to determine the benefits and allowances of LOP and other MPs, including the vice president and prime minister,” he said.

Asked why all Mpuuga’s predecessors (former leaders of the opposition) were not given this service award, Mwesige, who is also a former MP, said: “The Bible itself says there is time for everything. When I joined Parliament in 1996, Speakers were not entitled to pension.”

“Even MPs were not paid by the Parliamentary Commission because it wasn’t there, but a time came when the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and MPs were awarded a pension,” he added, arguing that a time also came when the law was amended and the former Speakers of Parliament including Francis Butagira and Prof. Edward Rugumayo were also given pensions and vehicles.

“So, a time came when the Parliamentary Commission in exercising its powers under the Administration of Parliament Act took a decision to give a service award (akasiimo) to LOP in 2022.”

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“So, if the former leaders of opposition were not given a service ward, the Parliamentary Commission then did not take a decision but the Parliamentary Commission of the 11th Parliament found it wise to give a service award to LOP.”

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