Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah has handed over the Shs20 Million given to MPs to Omoro district taskforce.
While handing over the money, Mr Oulanyan urged the district taskforce to use it in activities to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
“As the district taskforce you have ideas and you have had meetings on areas where there are issues; please utilize this money for purposes meant to halt and stop the spread of COVID-19 in this area,” Mr Oulanyah said.
“If you use it for something else, you would have known that you are using it wrongly and that would mean you have done deliberately and if consequences must come don’t plead with anybody,” he added.
The move will pile more pressure on Speaker Rebecca Kadaga who has moved to defend the Shs 10bn to MPs to fight Coronavirus amid nationwide condemnation.
Ugandans have since warned Kadaga against institutionalizing corruption at Parliament and demanded her resignation.
Article 156 of the Uganda Constitution, 1995 gives Parliament the power to appropriate funds presented to it in an Appropriation or Supplementary Appropriation Bills which are prepared by the Executive branch.
This is operationalized by Sections 14 and 25 of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), 2015.
However, Article 93 of the Constitution provides that Parliament shall not impose any charge on the consolidated funds unless the motion is brought by the Executive.
Parliament’s action also contradicted Section 15 PFMA which enjoins the Parliament to ensure that public resources are held and utilized in a transparent, accountable, efficient, effective, and sustainable manner.
Mr Oulanyah said he had planned to use the money to set up a modern isolation unit at Lalogi Health Center IV saying the district luck any isolation during the deadly virus outbreaks
“Before all this confusion came I had my own ideas to use the money to construct a modern isolation unit, something permanent and would serve generations even when COVID is gone,” said Mr Oulanyah.
He added “I had got detailed plan from the Ministry of health to construct a modern health isolation unit that will accommodate 18 beds but this dream has been halted by further guidance from the president that we (MPs) are not purchasing officers,”
Chief Administration Officer Nicholas Ogwang lauded the deputy speaker for responding swiftly to the court order.
“As the district we are extremely excited for this quick response and know this money will go a long way filling financial gaps at the district during this fight,” said Mr Ogwang.