Uganda MPs reject 'bribe' linked to age-limit Bill

10 lawmakers return millions of shillings to Parliament, some, after warning from voters.

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni. Critics argue the bill is meant to make him president for life. PHOTO | FILE | AFP 

IN SUMMARY

  • So far, 10 of 445 MPs have returned the Ush29 million ($8,000) deposited into their accounts.
  • Parliament released about Ush13 billion ($3.55 million) last month to facilitate consultations on the Bill by the MPs.
  • The Bill would lift a constitutional age limit preventing President Yoweri Museveni, 73, from seeking to extend his 31-year rule in the next election.

Some Ugandan legislators have rejected money released by Parliament to facilitate consultations on the Bill seeking to scrap the presidential age limit.

So far, 10 of 445 MPs have returned the Ush29 million ($8,000) deposited into their accounts, with the latest being the Leader of Opposition in Parliament Winnie Kiiza.

Ms Kiiza, Kasese Woman MP, on Thursday said she had delayed returning the money because she had been out of the country.

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Roland Kaginda, Rukungiri Municipality MP, said he was taking back the "bribe", because "My voters do not want me to even touch this money".

He said his constituents asked him not to go to the area before he gives back the money.

Last week, two opposition protestors died in Rukungiri at a rally against the age limit Bill. Uganda's main opposition leader Kizza Besigye and five others were arrested and charged with inciting violence in the area.

READ: Uganda opposition leader charged, released

The Bill would lift a constitutional age limit preventing President Yoweri Museveni, 73, from seeking to extend his 31-year rule in the next election.

READ: Museveni directs MPs to back age limit Bill

ALSO READ: Uganda MPs get $8,000 each for work on age cap Bill

Parliament released about Ush13 billion ($3.55 million) last month to facilitate consultations on the Bill by the MPs.

The proposed change has been widely criticised with public decrying of wastage and corruption.

"We definitely do not need to waste taxpayers’ money. I’m sure that, just like my voters, this is a bribe," Mr Kaginda said.

The two legislators join eight others who have turned down the cash offer.

They include Medard Segona (DP-Busiro South), Angeline Osegge (FDC Soroti), Moses Kasibante (Ind-Rubaga North), William Nzoghu (FDC-Busingora North) and Mohammed Muwanga Kivumbi (DP-Butambala County).

Others are Kiira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju (FDC), his Kyaddondo East counterpart Robert Kyagulanyi and Masaka Municipality MP Matthias Mpuuga.

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