Police investigations leave Parliament at sixes and sevens

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Police investigations leave Parliament at sixes and sevens
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There were reports that one of the figureheads of Parliament had also recorded statements from their home in Kololo where detectives had opted to take one.

CONFUSION | Parliament is at sixes and sevens, grappling with a tainted image that could not have become any worse with the investigations whose head and tail are unclear on whether they are limited to MPs or the leadership is equally culpable.

More questions raising eyebrows is how this time round the Speaker was allegedly not informed about the summon of the members.

The Director of Public Affairs and Communication at Parliament, Mr Chris Obore, was noncommittal on whether Parliament has received communication on the summons against the members.

Mr Obore intimated that the procedure of parliament envisions communication to the Speaker on any directives against their members.

"I as director of communication, l don't have any information except that I have journalists asking me. But for the procedures, Police is supposed to go through the Speaker and may be they did if indeed the MPs are already making statements with police," he said.

The Nile Post understands at least three legislators - all from the ruling National Resistance Movement party, spent Monday night in the VIP cells at Kira Police Division.

On Friday, CID chief Tom Magambo ordered the OC Kira Police to prepare to welcome VIP 'clients' and Lwengo District Woman MP Cissy Namujju became one of the first to book her place in the cells.

Ms Namujju was joined by Yusuf Mutembuli of Bunyole East in Butaleja District, and Busiki MP Paul Akamba.

There were reports that one of the figureheads of Parliament had also recorded statements from their home in Kololo where detectives had opted to take one.

While it is unclear whether these were summoned as witnesses or suspects, allegations point to the allocation of funds and negotiation of takeaways. It's alleged some solicited funds from entities while others connived with foreign entities.

Mr Nicholas Opiyo, a human rights activist and lawyer, is skeptical on whether the president could be acting this time arguing this could be another scam to create excitement to a disgruntled parliament.

"President Museveni is only trying to excite the public sincere these are already in the bad books," he said.

"People are doubtful about Museveni's fight against corruption. They views these attempts as performative without any intention to act."

Mr Opiyo said the public might need to watch out for what the president could be scheming for in parliament.

He says until the racket is cracked this will be taken for political gimmicks.

"Ugandans must watch out for what the President could be plotting. I'm hesitant to think that he is weakening parliament before the people making them vulnerable so that by the time he comes with his weird constitutional amendment requests, he finds a whipped parliament that can't be resistant," he said.

President Museveni has been tasked to explain the amount of public funds that could have been lost in the cases which have seen MPs now under investigations if he is not part of those who negotiate for their budgets.

Mr Charles Rwomushana, a public affairs commentator, said the President should reveal how this money is moved to the suspects or their point of involvement.

"We need to start with what we lost as the public, who got what and how the plan was orchestrated," he said.

"We know that the President negotiates with the budget committee especially on things that are not of public interest like the Atiak Sugar allocations, Magoola and others. So who can plan and even get the releases made and money issued without involvement of the President."

Mr Mathias Magoola is a businessman who is putting up a company, Dei Bio Pharmacy Ltd, for which the taxpayer is compelled to bankroll with billions of shillings.

Rwomushana argued that if the racket is not cracked by him as a complainant then this process is only to intimidate, witch-hunt and abuse Parliament.

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