Mpuuga’s Shs500 million ‘Service Award’ is Illegal – Uganda Law Society

  • by Mary Ociiti
  • March 6, 2024

The Uganda Law Society (ULS) has challenged the Parliament of Uganda to explain circumstances under which commissions rewarded themselves over 1 billion Uganda shillings.

These concerns follow the unpopular allocation of a Shs500 million ‘service award’ to former Leader of Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga, labeling it as an “illegal charge” on the Consolidated Fund of Uganda.

According to ULS President Bernard Oundo, such financial disbursements require parliamentary approval through a Bill or motion introduced by the Executive arm of government, as stipulated in Article 93 of the Constitution.

Highlighting the absence of any official proposal or motion regarding the service award, ULS asserts that the allocation constitutes an unauthorized withdrawal from public funds. President Oundo emphasized the need for a thorough investigation into the matter to uphold the integrity of financial governance and adherence to legal procedures.

Moreover, ULS called upon Parliament and the Parliamentary Commission to address the contested issue transparently and in accordance with established laws governing MPs’ remuneration. President Oundo stressed the importance of parliamentary leadership in setting a precedent for the responsible management of public funds.

To address systemic challenges in determining MPs’ emoluments, ULS proposed the establishment of an independent Salaries and Remuneration Commission. This commission would be tasked with evaluating and determining the compensation of all government officials, including MPs, to ensure fairness and accountability.

In light of these developments, ULS urged government entities and public servants to uphold principles of transparency, accountability, and adherence to the rule of law. President Oundo emphasized the critical role of public trust in maintaining responsible financial management and ethical conduct among public officials.

The statement from ULS coincides with a dispute between Mathias Mpuuga and Robert Kyagulanyi, president of the National Unity Platform (NUP), to which Mpuuga belongs. NUP has called for Mpuuga’s resignation from his role as a parliamentary commissioner, citing ethical concerns related to the allocation of funds to himself and fellow commissioners.

In response, Mpuuga defended his position, asserting that his service as Leader of Opposition warranted recognition and compensation. Despite calls for resignation, Mpuuga remains firm in his decision to retain his position within Parliament.