Bobi Wine to face Parliament’s disciplinary committee over Covid-19 funds

Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine

Kampala, Uganda | URN | Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine has been sent to the Parliamentary Rules Committee for allegedly putting the institution of Parliament into disrepute.

The decision to face the rules committee was taken by the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga following a statement by Bunyole West MP James Waluswaka demanding for an explanation from Mr Kyagulanyi, on why he branded the Shs20 million given to each MP as a bribe.

The money was part of the Shs10 billion that was distributed to MPs as facilitation for activities on the control of COVID-19. Amid controversy on the exact role MPs will play when the country is in lockdown, a section of MPs has since signed transfer forms with their banks returning the funds to the Parliamentary Commission account saying that it is morally wrong to receive the money during the crisis.

But Mr Waluswaka reported to Parliament that Mr Kyagulanyi had tagged the funds as a bribe, as seen on his bank transfer from which has been making rounds on social media.

He also brought to the attention of Parliament, a video of Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde asking a Television presenter to question her about the controversial funds sent to MPs.

“These two people should be charged for attempted murder because they did not follow the guidelines and NBS as an institution should be brought before the committee on ICT because we thought these journalists are professionals. How does someone (guest) as you (moderator) that as me this? Honourable Speaker, one of our own colleague Honourable Robert Ssentamu returned the money as per the directives of the clerk to Parliament but on the deposit slip he said he had returned a bribe. Honourable Kyagulanyi should come and explain to the House and country who gave the bribe and why and the person who has taken should be arrested. He must be put to order because people now think this House can be bribed to do its mandatory duty of appropriation,” Mr Waluswaka said.

Mr Jacob Oboth, the West Budama South MP said that the matter raised by his colleague against Mr Kyagulanyi was critical since it portrays the Parliament in a bad light. The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee Chairperson also noted that the ping pong of MPs losing a debate on the floor and running to court should also stop.

Speaker Kadaga said that Parliament needed to take action on the indiscipline of MPs saying that Mr Kyagulanyi will have to appear before the Rules Committee. She also questioned how Ms Kyambadde could solicit questions on TV concerning funds appropriated by Parliament.

“Now concerning the indiscipline, I think we need to take action. How can a minister solicit a question!…and then dramatically she rejects. I watched the video. Minister how comes here, we support her! Yesterday we even passed her budget yet she was not even here…to embarrass the House! She will have to answer. As for the members who are indisciplined, we will have to take action; the honorable Kyagulanyi, after making the statement, he will have to go to the rules committee for bringing the House in disrepute. Even for the others, I’ll tell you what to do,” Speaker Kadaga.

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The Speaker’s decision against Mr Kyagulanyi Friday follows her statement yesterday to have action taken against Ntungamo Municipality MP, Gerald Karuhanga and the Erute South MP, Jonathan Odur who secured a court order stopping the Parliamentary commission from disbursing the 10 billion Shillings to MPs.

The order issued by Justice Esta Nambayo on April 21 also stopped MPs from using the money until the matter is decided upon by the court on April 29, 2020. However, the Speaker has since rubbished the court order and allowed the legislators to spend the money under the district COVID-19 task forces.