Cash bonanza in Parliament as MPs get paid age limit balance

It was a kiss goodbye to the January blues as Members of Parliament were called to receive what remained of their total package for amending the Constitution to create chance for President Yoweri Museveni to stand in the subsequent elections.

Some 317 MPs voted in December 2017 to amend the Constitution and remove a clause that would make it impossible for Museveni to stand for re-election in 2021.

Museveni who has been in power since 1986 will officially turn 75 this year, the age beyond which one would not stand for President before the Article 102(b) was deleted from the Constitution.

To pass through the amendment, the ruling party had to stretch its financial muscle to offer financial incentives to the MPs, each being promised a total package of Shs 200 million which was to be paid in three installments.

The first installment of Shs 40 million was paid before the amendment was passed in 2017 with another installment of Shs 100 million coming immediately after the passing of the Bill. The final installment of Shs 60 million was to be paid on November 30 last year.

At the beginning of this week, the MPs received telephone calls from the leadership of the NRM Parliamentary caucus to go for the money but instead of the Shs 60 million, the MPs received Shs 45 million.

Some 28 MPs have reportedly declined to take any figure less than Shs 60 million.

“I think some colleagues are politicizing this issue because they were clear to us that the money that came was not enough, they can’t pay us the full amount. Those who want the full amount were asked to wait until more money is made available,” a senior NRM MP said.

Information about this payment leaked after the NRM caucus leaders mistakenly invited one of the 27 NRM MPs who voted against the amendment to pick his share.

The MPs are picking the money from a building at Bwebajja along Entebbe Road.