MASINDI: State minister for Bunyoro Affairs Earnest Kiiza has returned the Shs20 million given to Members of Parliament to fight Covid-19.
Kizza handed over the money on Thursday to the Masindi district Covid 19 response team and said he is respecting the presidential guidance on the money.
“I respect the president and also have followed his guidance, I have returned the 20 million to the Masindi district task force” Kiiza said, adding that the money will be used to boost the district response work towards fighting the pandemic.
The Masindi woman MP, Bintu Jalia has given out posho and jerrycans for washing hands but she did not indicate whether she used her personal money or the items were bought using part of the Shs 20 million received by each Member of Parliament.
Masindi has four members of parliament but only one has returned the money as directed by court and the president to the district taskforce.
This comes after several Ugandans and the president rejected the proposal to give out the money to members of parliament but still Parliament went ahead to give out the funds.
Kiiza now joins dozens of MPs including Bobi Wine, Jacob Oulanya and many more who have since returned the money to Parliament, describing the pay as a bribe.
Other lawmakers have vowed not to refund the money, saying they used it to procure relief items for their constituencies.
But Museveni has since warned of serious consequences if the money is not returned.
“Even if you have spent the money wrongly, you will pay it back because you have a salary. Those who have given it to the Taskforce, we can appeal to Ugandans to forgive you. The bad thing is to spend it on yourself. It’s terrible and unacceptable,” said Museveni.
“For those who spend the money, what did you buy? What procedures did you follow? Did you follow PPDA rules? There is also the problem of distributing food. How? Didn’t you contribute to the spread of the virus? What structure were you using? Aren’t you interfering with regulation of controlling the disease? The political leaders should be examples.”
Close to 17,000 people headed by Ms Sarah Kiyingi, the former State minister for Internal Affairs, signed an online petition challenging the allocation of Shs10 billion to members of Parliament to fight the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).