MPs who have taken the Shs20 million given to them as part of the COVID-19 supplementary expenditures might be in trouble.
In his address on the update about his coronavirus guidelines, Tuesday evening, President Museveni condemned MPs for allegedly seeking to divert Ugandans from the current war against coronavirus.
“I’m very thankful with Ugandans; they have responded but the Shs20 million by the MPs that caused confusion. It’s bad planning but secondly, there were also legal and constitutional issues involved. It would be morally irreprehensible to give themselves money for personal use when the country is in such a crisis and totally unacceptable to the NRM,” Mr Museveni said during the 12 televised address since the outbreak of the virus was reported in the country in March this year.
The president further revealed that he met the Speaker, Ms Rebecca Kadaga and told her that MPs had entered the trap and the best way to extract themselves from it is by not spending the money.
“I agreed with the Speaker that they donate the money to the district taskforce where they come from, it will limit the damage. I heard that some of the MPs went had bought things. That’s not good enough. We have a purchaser. I have been in the Statehouse for 34 years and I have never even bought a toilet paper. Many Ugandans are angry with this and this will be sorted out,” Museveni said.
He added that the only persons who are allowed to purchase for the government are the Permanent secretaries, the Chief Accounting Officer, Town Clerks, Sub-county chiefs and a few others.
“For the one who bought on their own, the question is who authorized you to buy for the state? The Auditor-General will come in and audit and say you bought badly so that we sort this. They can pay it back if they spent it wrongly,” Mr Museveni added.
For those who spent money on themselves, the president said, this is not only unacceptable but also criminal.
Mr Museveni again warned politicians against interfering in the distribution of food. He said all those caught doing so would be dealt with harshly for helping in the spread of the coronavirus.
“That’s why the other fellow called [Francis] Zaake had been arrested but how do you arrest Zaake and leave these ones of the NRM including ministers?” Museveni said referring to the MP Francis Zaake, who was arrested for distributing food.
When he appeared in court in Mityana, Zaake couldn’t open his eyes. He failed to take a plea and the magistrate ordered him to be taken to hospital to seek medical attention before he could stand trial.