The Inspectorate of Government-IG is holding the Bukoto South Member of Parliament, Twaha Kagabo on bribery allegations. The legislator was picked up shortly after he tried to return the Shillings 40million he reportedly recieved from the residence of the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among under unclear circumstances.
He was arrested by the Parliamentary police, which handed him to the Inspectorate of Government. “It is alleged that the MP had received a bribe of 40 million. The Inspectorate of Government received a call from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Parliament about the matter and we are going to investigate and if found culpable, will be arraigned in court,” Ali Munira, the Manager of Strategic Partnerships and Public Relations at the Inspectorate of Government said.
She said that the IG would prefer charges against the legislator once their investigations are completed. Kagabo was still in custody at the Inspectorate of Government by the time of filling this story pending the appearance of his sureties to secure bond. Prior to his arrest, the Leader of Opposition Mathias Mpuuga had offered the MP his security team to enable him to return the money to the Speaker’s home for purposes of transparency.
However, the escorts contacted the DPC at parliament, Steven Agaba who rushed to the office of the Leader of the Opposition together with other police officers and took the MP. In a related development, the Speaker Anita Among has directed the Rules, Privileges, and Discipline Committee of Parliament to probe Kagabo regarding his claims that she gave him Shillings 40 million.
Among made the directive during plenary on Tuesday, saying that she doesn’t know Kagabo’s intention and described his action as an abuse of the institution of parliament.
“This House is not for playing politics, he has to show us who gave him the money…from where and what the money was meant for. It is our responsibility to protect the image of this House. When you start that kind of behavior, you will have to face the law,” Among said. Among insisted that she never gave Kagabo the money and tasked the committee to investigate the matter and report back to the House in one month.
Solomon Silwany, the Bukholi Central MP applauded the Speaker in regard to her directive to the Rules, Privileges, and Discipline Committee of Parliament. He said that the Inspector General of Government (IGG) also needs to pick interest in the matter.
Earlier, Kagabo addressed the Shadow Cabinet led by the Leader of Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga, seeking to return the money that was highly criticized by the public and his party, the National Unity Platform-NUP.
“Some time ago, I received money to a tune of 40 million on my account, and shortly after that I was also invited to pick money…40 million which money, I was told was an arrangement internally from parliament. And I received this money,” Kagabo partly told members of the Shadow Cabinet.
Kagabo said that he had taken a long time to return the money after soul searching and getting feedback from his constituency. Kagabo told Mpuuga that he had picked the money from the Speaker’s residence and the Leader of Opposition asked him to return it.
In June this year, the media was awash with reports indicating that legislators had received Shillings 40 million ahead of the budget approved under questionable circumstances. NUP described the cash handout as immoral and illegal and directed its MPs to return the money when some legislators approached the party leadership for guidance. The decision was reached in a crisis meeting chaired by the NUP president Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu at the party headquarters.
In a statement, NUP alleged that the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) MPs were receiving the money in cash from Parliament, while the Opposition and Independent MPs were receiving it from the residence of Speaker Anita Among.
However, Parliament dismissed the alleged payout to the legislators. Chris Obore, the Director of Communication and Public Affairs at Parliament, said that the institution was not aware of the transaction and instead advised NUP to interest the accountability committees in the matter if indeed there had been any such payment outside the known procedures of parliament.