Court Directs MPs to Return the Controversial UGX 20m COVID-19 gift money

Posted: 2020-04-29T12:23:06Z
Court Directs MPs to Return the Controversial UGX 20m COVID-19 gift money

All Members of Parliament who benefited from the Shillings 10 billion for Covid19 activities should return and deposit the money with the Parliamentary Commission, District or Covid19 National Task Force High court has directed.

The decision was made by Justice Michael Elubu on Wednesday afternoon as he delivered his ruling on an application filed by the Ntungamo Municipality Member of Parliament Gerald Karuhanga contesting the manner in which parliament allocated the said money. Each MP received UGX 20M and some already used it to buy food for their constituents.
During a televised speech last evening, President Museveni advised that the money is donated by MPs to their respective district task force, warning that whoever has used it for their personal benefit will refund it.

Today’s decision followed a submission by the Parliamentary Commission through its lawyers led by Sitinah Cherotich agreeing with Karuhanga that the money be returned through the three channels listed as long as it is under public control. 
Museveni warned MPs that this is public money and should never have been allocated to MPs for personal use.

Through his lawyer David Mpanga, Hon. Karuhanga proposed that legislators who received the money and don’t represent any District, return it to either the Parliamentary Commission or National Task Force, which will then channel it to District Task Forces.

Mpanga told Court that as long as the money first goes into public control, the merits of the main suit challenging the procedure leading to its allocation can be dealt with at a later stage. Hon. Karuhanga later told Journalists outside Court that he has got some relief because the money will return in public control. 

Last week, Hon. Gerald Karuhanga petitioned court accusing Parliament of breaching its rules of procedure when it included the money in question into the report of the Budget Committee without the Consent of the Committee members. 
The Shillings 10 billion is part of the Shillings 304 billion Supplementary Budget that was approved by parliament on April 4th, 2020 to facilitate the Covid19 response.