Ugandan court orders MPs to repay 2.4 million euros coronavirus cash bonanza
London, April 30, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The high court in Uganda has ruled that MPs must pay back any money they received as part of a package they approved to fight coronavirus in their constituencies, local media report
An allocation of 2.4 million euros was paid into the individual accounts of lawmakers earlier in April, according to The Observer newspaper. It must now be repaid or transferred to national or district Covid-19 taskforces.
The money was initially approved as part of a bigger budgetary package and was intended to be used for sensitisation about the virus.
However, the payment irked President Yoweri Museveni, who described it as “morally reprehensible”.
Addressing the country on Tuesday night, President Museveni said the decision by Ugandan MPs to allocate money to themselves was “bad planning”, and that the move has legal and moral issues.
On the moral side, he said it is unacceptable for MPs “to give themselves money for personal use when the country is in crisis. It is totally unacceptable to me and to the NRM”, [a party he leads and national Chairman].
He explained that he discussed the matter with the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga. His argument was that the legislators had “entered into a trap and you should get out of it”.
“And the best way to get out of the trap is to not spend it on yourself. I told the Speaker, “Take that money and donate it to the district taskforce”,” revealed Museveni.
Some MPs had already refunded the money. Opposition lawmaker Bobi Wine described the payment as “wrong and immoral”, saying he would return the money and not participate in such a “vile” fraud.
While millions of Ugandans starved & countless lost jobs, the Parliament of Uganda allocated itself 10bn shs ($2.7m) & gave each Member 20m! Not even a court order or public outcry could stop them. Wrong & immoral! I've returned this money & will not partake in a fraud so vile pic.twitter.com/Jix9q76UX6— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) April 23, 2020
Uganda has confirmed 79 cases of coronavirus with no deaths, according to the latest statistics from the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.