Bukoto South Member of Parliament, Twaha Kagabo has in a twist of events apologized to fellow legislators for “causing an impasse” in regard to the 40 million Shillings that he recently attempted to return to return to parliament.
National Unity Party President Robert Kyagulanyi had said MPs had received 40million shillings each irregularly and ordered those belonging to his party to return the money where they had got it from. Complying with his party boss’ order, Kagabo went to Parliament flashing a stack of cash in UGX20,000 notes but was not allowed to hand it over to Speaker Anita Among, from whose house he claimed to have collected the money.
Kagabo on Tuesday took to the floor of parliament, saying there was a need for MPs to work in harmony with the Speaker and that he desired to be pardoned by parliament.
However, Henry Kibalya, the Bugabula South MP raised a procedural matter asking that MP Kagabo makes a clear statement to parliament regarding the issue.
Anita Among, the Speaker of Parliament also said that Kagabo’s statement was not clear. She asked the MP to be clear about the forgiveness he was seeking.
Kagabo then said that he was seeking forgiveness for moving around the precincts of parliament with cash that he sought to return. He said that this must have infringed to the privileges and rights of fellow legislators.
Among did not allow any further submissions on the matter, saying that MP Kagabo was clear in his request for forgiveness.
Early last month, MP Kagabo had addressed the Shadow Cabinet led by the Leader of Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga, seeking to return the money that had been 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 told members of the Shadow Cabinet then.
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.
Before he could return the money, Kagabo was arrested by the Inspectorate of Government-IG on bribery allegations and later released on IG bond. The Inspectorate then said that it would prefer charges against the legislator once their investigations are completed.
Despite the investigations by the IG, Speaker Among also directed the Rules, Privileges, and Discipline Committee of Parliament to probe Kagabo regarding his claims that she gave him 40 million Shillings. Among said that she didn’t know Kagabo’s intention and described his action as an abuse of the institution of parliament.
Since her directive on 9th August to the committee chaired by Abdu Katuntu, the Bugweri County MP, hearings into the matter have never started.
Althugh Katuntu on 15th August addressed journalists at parliament saying that that his committee had written to MP Kagabo and LOP Mpuuga’s office inviting the two to appear in a weeks’ time to provide information regarding the controversial 40 million, the session in which the two were supposed to provide information has never been convened to date.