Kigezi MPs heed to Museveni call returning anti-COVID-19 cash

Rubabo county - Rukungiri district - MP Mary Paula Turyahikayo, returned the UGX20M handing it to District Task force

Kabale – Three Members of Parliament from the Kigezi sub-region have heeded to President Museveni’s call and donated the UGX20m to the district COVID-19 task force to help fight the spread of coronavirus in Uganda

Mary Paula Turyahikayo the Rubabo county Member of Parliament in Rukungiri district has transferred the UGX20M COVID 19 funds to Rukungiri District Local Government.

Earlier on even before the court ruling Wilfred Niwagaba the shadow Attorney General and Ndorwa East MP had given it to the four sub counties where every sub-country is to get UGX5m.

Wilfred Niwagaba, Mary Paula Turyahikayo and Caroline Kamusiime Muhwezi are the first MPs from Kigezi Sub Region to heed to President Museveni call to take back the money as well high Court ruling that the money needs to be donated to the national task force or district task force.

Whilst Rose Kabagyenyi, the Kisoro Woman MP revealed she was yet to deposit the money, affirmed she was engaging the district task force on how to utilize the funds.

Turyahikayo revealed that she has deposited the funds on the Rukungiri District Stanbic Bank Account number 014007088201, adding as a legislator it would be bad for her to defy court orders and asked the District Task Force to use the money so that it can benefit the people.

“Like any law abiding citizen, I can’t disobey the country’s laws and I have handed over this money to the District Taskforce to help them reach out to our people in these current hard times,” Turyahikayo said.  

Caroline Kamusiime Muhwezi, the Rukiga Woman MP equally returned the money to The Rukiga District Task Force Committee urging them to utilise them appropriately given Rukiga was a young district that lacked alot in the health sector as and also borders with Rwanda thus exposing her constituents to COVID-19.

Sam Byibesho the Kisoro Municipality MP sustained that returning the money will depend on further guidance from parliamentary commission which allotted it after he bought 22 tons of posho for households in the Municipality.

John Nizeyimana Kamara, the Bufumbira North MP disclosed that he used the money to beef up security surveillance at different border points in his constituency as he Says that if the auditor general was to investigate, they would find he has used more than the UGX 20m he was given.

He also pleaded for the district task force to give him more money to serve his people.

Dr Philemon Mateke the state Minister for regional affairs has challenged MPs in Kisoro to return all the money to the consolidated fund.

Dr. Mateke also advised the Kisoro district task force to exercise transparency and avoid infighting over corona virus money meant to help the people.

Kigezi has over 15 members of parliament like David Bahati The State Minister Of Planning (Ndorwa West) Dr  Chris Baryomunsi (Kinkiizi East) Henry Musasizi (Rubanda East), Andrew Baryayanga Aja (Kabale Municipality), Catherine Ndamira Atwakire (Kabale Woman),Herbert Kabafunzaki (Rukiga), Rose Kabagyenyi (Kisoro Woman),Eng. Denis Sabiti (Rubanda West), Sam Byibesho (Kisoro Municipality),Sam Kwizera Bitangaro (Bufumbira South),

Other legislators include: Dr James Nsaba Buturo (Bufumbira East), Betty Bamukwatsa Muzanira (Rukungiri Woman), Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa  East) Fred Turyamuhweza (Rujumbura), Bekeirize(Kanungu Woman), Prossy Begumisa Mbabazi(Rubanda Woman), Mary Paula Turyahikayo (Rubabo), Caroline Kamusiime Muhwezi (Rukiga Woman), James Ruugi Kaberuka (Kinkiizi West), John Niyizeimana Kamara and Roland Kaginda Mugume (Rukungiri Municipality).

Parliament allocated UGX10Bn that was distributed to Members of Parliament with each taking 20 million Shillings as facilitation for activities on the control of COVID-19.

On Tuesday, President Museveni voiced his disappointment in MPs for allocating themselves money for own use while the country is battling a pandemic and begging citizens to contribute to the National Taskforce so as to help those most affected.

The president said he had advised the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga not spend the money, but donate it to the district taskforce where they come from.

On Wednesday, High Court in Kampala also ruled that the money is returned to the account or donated to the National Covid-19 taskforce or the District Covid-19 taskforces by MPs.

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