It is difficult to describe how irked I am at the thought that it is actually necessary to pen this to you. You, over the years, are the very people that we, helpless Ugandans, have built our hope in to set yourselves apart from Tibuhaburwa’s Sycophants’ Club (read NRM) who are hell-bent on ruining this nation and leaving nothing for our children and our children’s children. It is therefore not only shocking to read press reports that you have not yet returned the 20 Million dished out to all MPs to “monitor government programmes” (48 opposition MPs took Shs20m ‘bribe’, Daily Monitor, July 25, 2011) but that you are also vowing not to return it (“We won’t return Shs. 20m ‘bribe’, say legislators”, Daily Monitor July 26, 2011)!
There was an uproar in the public domain when the story of the planned disbursement of these monies totaling to a colossal sum of 6.5 Billion shillings and the reasons for it are very well know to U. However, for the avoidance of doubt, let me elucidate them:
1. That the said funds were not in the budget of the Parliamentary Commission and that there was no record of a parliamentary sitting that received and considered a supplementary request for funding for this particular suspect item
2. That the timing of this request at the height of the election season and just 3 months to the close of business of the August House was unfortunate and just an excuse to fund MPs campaigns in exchange for passing the unjustified 600 Billion shillings supplementary budget
3. That it is not the constitutional duty of MPs to “monitor government programmes” given the fact that they do not have competencies in all the fields were government programmes lie e.g Agriculture, like in this case. MPs have diverse qualifications and not everybody is competent enough to monitor ALL government projects
4. That the money was subjected to 30% Income Tax deduction which means that it is comparable with an income where accountability is not required, contrary to the said function of the funds i.e “monitoring government programmes” which, if it were even justified to begin with, would require some form of accountability to the taxpayer on how it was spent!
It is on this basis that I implore you to do the good and just thing and return the funds. If this is unacceptable to you, then we request that you stop purporting to represent our views in Parliament by doing the honorable thing and resign.
For God and My Country,
Charles A. O. Makmot
Activist For Change