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    Among, Mpuuga and 4 Commissioners taken to court over Service Award

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    Among, Mpuuga and 4 Commissioners taken to court over Service Award
    • April 23, 2024 • 27 days ago
    in summary
    The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Annet Anita Among, and five Commissioners of Parliament, including Former Leader of Opposition in Parliament Rt. Hon. Mathias Mpuuga Nsamba, have been taken to the Anti-Corruption Court over a controversial service award they allegedly received.

    The Speaker of Parliament, the Rt. Hon. Annet Anita Among, along with five Commissioners of Parliament, including Nyendo-Mukungwe MP the Rt. Hon. Mathias Mpuuga Nsamba, Bukooli County Central MP Hon. Solomon Silwany, Rubanda Woman MP Hon. Prossy Mbabazi Akampurira, and Zombo Woman MP Hon. Esther Afoyochan, have been taken to the Anti-Corruption Court over a controversial service award they allegedly received.

    The charges stem from an alleged payment of Shs500 million to Hon. Mathias Mpuuga and Shs400 million to each of the other commissioners as a service award. The group, being privately prosecuted by city controversial lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi, faces multiple charges, including money laundering, theft, obtaining money by pretence, cheating, conspiracy to effect unlawful purpose, and conspiracy to defraud.

    In an affidavit dated April 15, Mr. Male Mabirizi claimed that the meeting where the five commissioners passed the service award minutes was unlawful, as it was contrary to the Constitution and the Administration of Parliament Act. He argued that the service award should have been brought to Parliament by the government as a motion for legislators to deliberate upon.

    “I know that the code-naming the payment ‘one-time pay-off service award’ was a fraudulent trick to conceal and hide the illegality and criminality of the payment to which the accused persons are liable,” Mr. Mabirizi stated.

    He further added, “After it became public knowledge, on March 1, 2024, A1 Mathias Mpuuga issued a statement justifying the unlawful payment, claiming that it was lawful. I know that the above payments constitute offences of money laundering.”

    According to the charge sheet, under Count Seven of conspiracy to effect unlawful purpose, Mr. Mpuuga, Mr. Silwany, Ms. Akampurira, Ms. Afoyochan, and Ms. Among, on May 2022, by deceit and fraudulent means, conspired to defraud the public, Parliament, the Consolidated Fund, and taxpayers of Shs1.7 billion as a one-time pay-off service award.

    Mr. Mabirizi is now seeking criminal summonses against the group to appear in court for the corruption charges to be read out to them. The case file is currently awaiting allocation to a judicial office.

    The genesis of all this draws back to the month of March, when the micro-blogging site, X – formerly Twitter was awash with salacious reports about suspected corruption inside Parliament off the hashtag #UgandaParliamentExhibition.

    It all started with the outing of former Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Mr Mathias Mpuuga, for accepting a Shs500m handshake in an unprecedented ‘service award’ which has since been condemned by his party, the National Unity Platform (NUP), as corruption. NUP demanded that Mr Mpuuga resign from his position as a parliamentary commissioner.

    Public outrage was stoked when it emerged that the four other parliamentary commissioners representing the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party reportedly received Shs400m in a similar award

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