Widen budget probe to Parliamentary Commission – LoP

The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament (LoP), Joel Ssenyonyi. PHOTO/ FILE

What you need to know:

  • This publication has seen copies of the letter Mr Ssenyonyi claims he wrote to the office of the Speaker.
  • The letter, dated June 12, 2024, bears stamps of receipt from the Office of the Speaker, that of the Deputy Speaker, and the Office of the Leader of Government Business.

The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament (LoP) wants investigations into the alleged budget corruption scandal extended to the Parliamentary Commission, a key decision-making body of the legislative arm of government.

Following three days of investigations, three MPs were yesterday presented in court and charged with corruption in connection with suspected fixing of the budget process.  

 Mr Joel Ssenyonyi, who addressed journalists at Parliament yesterday, demanded that the detectives who grilled the three MPs widen their investigations to include the ‘dealings’ of the Parliamentary Commission on which he is mandated to sit.

 “As some MPs are being arrested, we need to broaden the investigation of the Parliament of Uganda, beginning with the Parliamentary Commission because that is where lots of things are happening. If the people investigating Parliament are serious, they should start with the Parliamentary Commission,” he said.

Mr Ssenyonyi said he has on many occasions been locked out of the meetings of the same Commission. “There is plenty of money for people to be given service awards, all of these are discussions that are meant to happen in the Parliamentary Commission.

“Unfortunately, some of us are kept out of the Parliamentary Commission, which is illegal because I am a member,” he said.
 Mr Ssenyonyi wondered: “I want to know; did she [the Speaker] or anybody else amend the Constitution, or Administration of Parliament Act and Rules of Procedure to say the Leader of Opposition is no longer a member of the Commission? Are they bothered by the questions that I am asking, so they don’t want me to ask those questions in the Commission meetings?”

This publication has seen copies of the letter Mr Ssenyonyi claims he wrote to the office of the Speaker. The letter, dated June 12, 2024, bears stamps of receipt from the Office of the Speaker, that of the Deputy Speaker, and the Office of the Leader of Government Business.

“I am, however, bothered that ever since I became LoP in January 2024, I have not been invited to any [Parliamentary] Commission meeting, yet I understand that the Commission has met a few times quietly in your office,” his letter reads in part.

He adds: “The tendency for the Parliamentary Commission to operate clandestinely without involvement of all members of the Commission raises suspicion and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.”
Mr Ssenyonyi vowed not to relent in his quest for ‘sanity’ at Parliament.