The Masindi Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Mr Dunson Yiga Mukasa, has declined to officially receive the district woman Member of Parliament (MP), Ms Jalia Lukumu Bintu’s donation to the District Covid-19 Taskforce.
On Thursday, Ms Bintu donated 7.8 tonnes of maize flour and 50 washing cans worth Shs19m to the taskforce.
However, the CAO rejected the items.
Addressing the meeting, the legislator said that by the time President Yoweri Museveni instructed the MPs to hand the Shs20m over to the district Covid-19 taskforces countrywide, she had already bought the items.
“Before the president said that MPs should hand the money to the district Covid-19 taskforce, I had already procured the items and now there is no way I can reverse this,” she told the meeting.
However, the CAO insisted that he could not receive the items since President Museveni instructed the MPs to deliver cash to the taskforce instead of foodstuffs and other items.
Mr Mukasa said he will receive the items after being cleared by the Auditor General (AG).
In her response, Ms Bintu said she would seek clearance from the AG and deliver a receipt to Masindi district local government.
“I don’t have any problem with the CAO. I will clear with the Auditor General and bring a receipt to the local government,” Ms Bintu said.
Meanwhile, the items were received by the Masindi Resident District Commissioner, Mr Martin Mugabi, who is also the chairman of the district Covid-19 taskforce.
On Tuesday, President Museveni said the MPs’ act of sharing Shs10b among themselves with each receiving Shs20m was “morally reprehensible.”
In the same vein, court on Wednesday ordered the MPs to return the money to parliament.
On Thursday, the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, declared that the executive and the judiciary have attacked the legislature yet by law it is an independent arm of government.
Article 156 of the 1995 Uganda Constitution gives parliament the power to appropriate funds presented to it in an Appropriation and Supplementary Appropriation Bills which are prepared by the Executive branch.
She warned of a looming showdown with government threatening to expose the executive’s expenditure.
“Today, we are only handling the attack on parliament by the Executive and the Judiciary. Next week, we are going to give information on the supplementary,” she threatened.
Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine returned the money to parliament labelling it a “bribe.”
Erute South MP, Jonathan Odur and Ntungamo Municipality MP, Gerald Karuhanga also refused taking the money and rushed to court for legal action.