Speaker of Parliament Anita Among has distanced herself from the controversial Shs40m cash bonanza and ordered the House committee on Rules to investigate Bukoto South MP Twaha Kagabo (NUP) for alleged misconduct.
Trouble started after the legislator showed up in the House with a briefcase of cash given to him and other members in June for unidentified activity.
Mr Kagabo, in an earlier closed-door meeting with Leader of Opposition in Parliament Mathias Mpuuga, alleged that he had picked the cash from the Speaker’s residence and declined to name the person who handed it to him.
During the afternoon plenary sitting, Ms Among expressed displeasure over her name being dragged into the controversy, and denied knowing the NUP legislator.
“He claimed I am the one who gave him that money. That is an abuse of this House. I do not know him. He has been an MP here but I do not know him and based on that, this is a breach of conduct in this House. We cannot allow that kind of behaviour in this 11th Parliament,” Ms Among said.
“I therefore refer the member to the rules committee and it must be reported back in one month. This house should not be used for playing politics. He has to show us who gave him the money, and what the money was meant for.”
Shortly after, the Inspectorate of Government (IGG) revealed they had apprehended Mr Kagabo.
Ms Munira Ali, IGG spokesperson, told Daily Monitor yesterday that a call by the Criminal Investigation Department at Parliament prompted the arrest.
By press time, the legislator was still in custody of the anti-corruption body where he reportedly made a statement.
Ms Munira said investigations have commenced to establish the source and purpose of the money, which is now exhibit with the IGG’s office.
News of Members of Parliament from both sides of the aisle’s taking Shs40m broke in June, shortly before the reading the Budget.
An investigation by this newspaper revealed a deal that involved approval of a supplementary request, including Shs77b for State House.
A number of the legislators confirmed the payout, but remained closely guarded as to where they had picked the money.
The National Unity Platform (NUP), the party with the biggest number of Opposition members in Parliament, in a crisis meeting directed its members who had received cash to return it.
Majority, however, defied.
But yesterday’s actions by Bukoto South MP Twaha Kagabo re-ignited the fire.
During the meeting with Mathias Mpuuga, the Leader of Opposition, Mr Kagabo said: “I received money, Shs40m, in my account. Shortly after that, I was also invited to pick money, Shs40m which money I was told was an arrangement internally from Parliament, and I received this money.”
Mr Kagabo said he had decided to return the money following nudging by his constituents who questioned his allegiance to the party. Mr Mpuuga provided security to the legislator to return the cash to the Speaker’s home, but was picked by IGG.