This Tuesday afternoon, Speaker Anita Among was characteristically punctual and promptly arrived to steer Parliament on time as always. In her communication from the Chair, Among (without being prompted by any one) defended the record of the 11th Parliament she leads against claims that some of its MPs and Committee leaders involved themselves in misappropriating billions meant for Cooperatives war compensation across the country.
The state-owned New Vision has been serializing stories on weekends showing the extent to which some individual MPs have been helping themselves on the Cooperatives billions whose paying out the GoU has been processing since 2010. But in her opening statement, Among said there is nothing members of the 11th Parliament should be afraid of because the said misappropriation is supposed to have been committed or taken place during the times of their predecessors in the 9th and 10th Parliament. Watch video here:
The Speaker had moments earlier made reference to a powerful parastatal MD or CEO who recently called her on phone inquiring about an MP (whose name she didn’t disclose) who had gone to his office demanding for a bribe which he claimed was hers whereas not. She warned against such conduct and proclaimed establishment of suggestion boxes at the clerk’s office through which individual members of the public should be able to blow the whistle and report such legislators who menacingly target accounting officers demanding for money while impersonating leaders at Parliament.
Making it clear that no one would ever hold their office at Parliament forever, Anita Among reminded MPs of their individual responsibility to always protect the integrity of Parliament, an institution she said they must all work towards leaving better than they found it. “Let’s stand firm and do what is right. We are a clean institution here and we aren’t the ones who have eaten money for the Cooperatives because that was during the 9th and 10th Parliament,” said the Speaker who was vigorously supported by Minister Jacob Oboth-Oboth and Kisoro MP Eddie Kwizera who controversially referred to what Bobi Wine told BBC in London last week regarding the controversial circumstances under which the Asuman Basalirwa-sponsored anti-gay law was enacted.
Among advised that to be able to preserve the integrity and reputation of the 11th Parliament, the MPs must be cohesive and united so that an attack on one is an attack on all. That there should be no grudges so that MPs always be there for each other “because this country has always been there and we shall leave it the way we found it. Let’s have intellectual discussions and debates here always and avoid personal attacks.” Kwizera and Oboth-Oboth also insisted that for Parliament to be respected as a high integrity institution, the conduct of individual MPs should be above board and they each should avoid engaging in situations that can bring their good names into disrepute. (For comments on this story, get back to us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734 & 041 4674611 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).