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Former MPs sue Parliament over pay

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By Ephraim Kasozi and Jalira Namyalo

Posted  Thursday, July 10   2014 at  10:27
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KAMPALA.

Former MPs have sued the Parliamentary Commission over alleged breach of contract in connection with holding half of their remuneration for the last month of their tenure during the eighth Parliament.
The group led by the former Achua county MP, Mr John Livingstone Okello Okello and former Omoro County MP, Mr Simon Akecha Toolit sued on behalf of 39 other former legislators seeking for court orders to declare that they were entitled to full pay, interest on the amounts withheld from May 2011 till payment in full.
Through their lawyers, the legislators of the eighth Parliament (2006 to 2011) are seeking for general damages for breach of contractual obligations and legal costs.
It is alleged that throughout the five year tenure of the plaintiffs as MPs, they received their salaries and emoluments in full save for the month of May 2011 in which the plaintiffs were paid half without any justification.
“The plaintiffs by virtue of their positions as MPs are entitled to a salary and other emoluments paid out by the defendant to each MP. They contend that at the end of their Parliament tenure, they were each paid half of their salary and emoluments by the defendants (Parliamentary Commission) without any just cause,” reads part of the complaint.
Meanwhile, court has summoned the Parliamentary Commission to five a defense within fifteen days.
According to court documents, Mr Okello Okello raised the concern with the Speaker of Parliament regarding the half pay but in May 2011, the Speaker wrote in response indicating that the 50 percent was to be used to pay the incoming MPs.
“It is my considered opinion that the decision to pay both outgoing and in-coming MPs 50 percent of their emoluments is unjust, unfair and could not be unlawful as well,” reads the letter in part. The hearing date is yet to be fixed, pending response from the defendants.
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