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FAKE! State House says Museveni’s letter on Shs1.7b service award probe is forged

Kampala, (UG):- Uganda’s State House has dismissed and labelled as fake the letter purportedly authored and signed by President Museveni in which he allegedly directed a thorough investigation on how Parliamentary Commissioners including Leader of Opposition Mathias Mpuuga shared among themselves Shs 1.7bn as service awards.

“The Presidential Press Unit – PPU wishes to inform the General Public that the letter circulating on social media purportedly authored by H.E The President on the subject of service awards to Parliamentary Commissioners is forged and should be ignored,” the Presidency said in a brief statement on Monday, May 13, 2024.

The one-page letter (now dubbed FAKE and FORGED) dated May 03, had the President asking the Attorney General, Mr Kiryowa Kiwanuka if he was aware of the so-called service award the four MPs shared during the May 6, 2022 meeting that was reportedly chaired by the House Speaker Anita Among during the Parliamentary Commission’s 96th in her Boardroom at exactly 10 am.

“I have been following the public debate on the service awards apparently given to the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament and what you call back-bench Parliamentary Commissioners……Were you aware of these ‘awards’? Or the Attorney General does not need to know about this. If you were aware, did you advise that it was legal?” the letter which the PPU has now labelled as FAKE read in part.

“The moral question is settled. Such conduct is contrary to the revolutionary principles of the NRM. When we were fighting Obote and Amin, we used to call it primitive accumulation of wealth. Why? Officials under those regimes were trying to get for themselves as much money as possible in the quickest time possible, in the easiest way possible,” it added.

“We used to ask them, “Where does this leave your country?” he added, before revealing how the Prime Minister and Finance Minister, who both sit on the parliamentary Commission informed him that they only learnt about it in the news, “even when they are members of the Parliamentary Commission.”

The Service Awards

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Early this year, a social media campaign on X dubbed #UgandaParliamentExbihition led by Makerere University lecturer and satirist Dr Jimmy Spire Ssentongo and journalist cum lawyer Agather Atuhaire sparked public outrage when documents of the service award went viral on social media.

The documents pinned Mr Mpuuga who is now a Parliamentary Commissioner and member of the Opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) at the centre of the blatant and extravagant award after he was allocated shs500m, while his colleagues including; Bukooli County MP, Mr Solomon Silwany, Rubanda district woman Ms Prossy Akampulira Mbabazi and Zombo district Woman MP Ms Esther Afoyochan, received Shs400 million each during the one-off sharing cash bonanza.

The NUP leadership upon learning about the award, summoned the Nyendo-Mukungwe legislator to return the money with a public apology and resign from the parliamentary commission which he has since snubbed.

“Every decision of the Commission to confer or reward anyone under its charge, is subjected to the relevant committees of Parliament for legality, feasibility, sustainability and relevancy,” said Mpuuga in defiance to his party calls, adding; “To call any such payments corruption is the highest level of spite, double standards and deliberate misrepresentation to the public and membership of the Party on a purely selfish and malicious mission.”

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According to Mpuuga, “If such payments amounted to corruption, all current and previous MPs would be compelled to refund to the public coffers monies paid as gratuity or honoraria since no MP, current and previous was not paid gratuity at the determination of the parliamentary Commission.”

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