For Rubanda, Speaker is not culpable but MP Mbabazi must pay

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For Rubanda, Speaker is not culpable but MP Mbabazi must pay
A section of Rubanda voters have been calling for MP Prossy Mbabazi's head

The electorate in Rubanda is warming up to District Woman MP Prossy Akampulira Mbabazi's potential ignominy with their opinion leaders saying Speaker Anita Among should not be dragged into the mess.

Renowned Kigezi political science scholar Sabiiti Makara said Ms Mbabazi and fellow backbench commissioners Mathias Mpuuga (Nyendo Mukungwe - NUP), Solomon Silwany (Bukooli Central - NRM) and Esther Afoyochan (Zombo Woman - NRM) should carry their own cross without muttering the Speaker's name.

Prof Makara says there is no evidence that Ms Among partook in the controversial service award.

Last week, a section of legislators led by Lwemiyaga County MP Theodore Ssekikubo moved a censure motion against the four commissioners, citing misconduct and abuse of office.

Mr Mpuuga, then Leader of Opposition, in March 2022 negotiated and received Shs500 million as service award from the Parliamentary Commission.

The meeting chaired by Speaker Among also doled Shs400 million to each of Silwany, Afoyochan and Mbabazi.

The quarter received the controversial payment on a person to holder basis even before clocking a year in office at the time which has left the essence of the award questionable.

While none of the three backbench commissioners have spoken out on the scandal, Mr Mpuuga has put up a brave face as he wrestled his party, the National Unity platform, and its principal Mt Robert Kyagulanyi in the mud insisting he was as clean as snow.

Kabale University political scientists Makara noted that the Speaker can not be censured since she never took the money.

He adds that the speaker is not culpable because she never awarded herself even when she was the one that presided over the meeting.

“The question is they can not censure her because she did not take the money. The possibility is that the commissioners must have brought a motion which she chaired but she is not culpable because she never awarded herself so if it’s not politics, they shouldn’t attack her because she never took money,” Prof Makara says.

“Instead, the question the media should be asking is how could these people take Shs1.7 billion and the speaker was not part of the sharing that really exonerates her. So other ones who were greedy simply divided themselves and the speaker was not part of it, whereas people are pushing to cut off her head, she is not culpable."

Prof Makara also questions as to why this time the NRM legislators are the ones pushing for a censure of their own.

“Other motions of similar significance never take off because NRM members simply bury their heads in the sand but in this case, they are up against their own commissioners,” Makara notes.

He said it was one of the few times when both NRM and Opposition united in fighting corruption.

“I think that there is a political game being played and the political game seems to be that this can push the division within the Opposition because it can accelerate the division within the NUP," he said.

"I think when Mpuuga is hard-pressed, it will also be relating against NUP which has been pushing for this. Another thing I think it will be a score for NUP is likely to gain because it will say 'we stood against corruption in Parliament' and NRM is also going to say 'you people have been saying that we are not fighting corruption have you seen heads rolling in parliament?'"

Rubanda voters Henry Twimukye and Agatha Kyatuhaire say the censure motion is long over due, adding that they were disappointed to hear that their Woman MP was among the commissioners who benefited from the service award.

“The censure motion is long overdue and we have been waiting for such a moment, the money they shared is the taxpayer’s money," they said.

Last month, a section of Rubanda voters protested against the service award and called on Ms Mbabazi to resign.

The Woman MP has never spoken out on the controversial financial undertaking.

“We Rubanda voters we are behind Parliament and we request that they follow the law and take possible action. We think that even by now they should not be commissioners of parliament, censuring those commissioners is one way of fighting corruption," the voters said.

The censure motion had garnered at least 123 signatures as of Thursday.

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