More drama in Parliament as Mafabi, Kabakumba face off

Former Kampala Minister, Bujenje County MP Kabakumba Matsiko
Former Kampala Minister, Bujenje County MP Kabakumba Matsiko

Leader of Opposition Nandala Mafabi and Bujenje County MP Kabakumba Matsiko have clashed in what appears to be a growing trend of unparliamentary behavior in the House.

Just two days after Deputy Prime Minister General Moses Ali pushed Kyadondo East MP Ssemujju Nganda, Mafabi and Kabakumba diverted from discussing the long awaited Anti Money Laundering Bill and instead accused each other of corrupt and thieving tendencies.

The Bill tabled in 2009 is meant to combat money laundering in the country though criminalizing the act and controlling the financing of terrorism. A major principle is to establish the Uganda Anti Money Laundering Committee which shall advise government on matters relating to money laundering.

In his contribution to the discussion on the Bill, Mafabi noted that Uganda had ratified the UN Convention that talks about money laundering, asset recovery from wrong doers, corrupt and drug dealers.

The Bill is thus coming up to beef up what has been done and should be passed immediately and made operational. He, however, expressed worry that the law may be passed, shelved and made redundant because the people who are supposed to implement it may be some of the culprits.

The Bill proposes setting up of a Board that will consist of the chairperson, a Director General and deputy and representatives from Ministry of Finance, Bank of Uganda and the Immigration Department. Others are a member of the private sector, Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Inspectorate of Government, and security agencies who shall all be appointed by the Minister of Finance.

Mafabi stood up to oppose the presence of civil servants on the board citing examples of Geoffrey Kazinda, the former Principal Accountant in the Office of the Prime Minister, who was on Wednesday sentenced to five years in jail for corruption-related offences. He also cited people like MP Kabakumba saying they continue to serve even after abusing their offices.

This angered Kabakumba, the former information minister who in 2011 was accused of stealing a mast and transmitter from the national broadcaster, UBC. She hit back saying Mafabi while chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee was accused of taking bribes, messing up the CHOGM investigations and that he cannot explain the source of his wealth.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga appealed to the MPs to stop attacking each other saying she has never received evidence or reports of the allegations and asked Mafabi to wind up. However, a stubborn Mafabi said that’s the main reason they need the law and asked Kabakumba to relax and keep whatever she took.

The Bujenje MP again stood up telling MPs that Mafabi was turning the House into a playground and revealed that while he was a chairperson of the National Economy Committee, he tried to extort money from Mukwano Industries.

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