Parliament. The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, has condemned what she termed as disguised theft of public funds by government officials hidden under exaggerated infrastructure projects.
Ms Kadaga said this has caused a rise of costs for infrastructure and that many road projects have been turned into a channel for stealing money from the people of Uganda, asking lawmakers to join hands in the fight against graft.
“I call upon Members of Parliament to be steadfast so that we put an end to that level of official theft,” she said.
Ms Kadaga was speaking during a thanksgiving service at the launch of Parliament Week in Kampala yesterday. She said government has in the recent past asked for loans worth trillions of shillings to be passed by parliament disguised as road funds only to end up in the deep pockets of high-profile politicians and officials in the public service.
Last year, parliament’s Committee on Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises Chaired by Mr Abdul Katuntu (FDC-Bugweri County) recovered about Shs30 billion in flawed road projects by Chinese contractors.
“There has been uncalled for negative publicity ….but we do relate with the population. We have fought their battles in our accountability committees and recovered lots of money meant for the public,” said the Speaker.
To acknowledge this relationship, the Speaker revealed that during the five-day activities of Parliament Week, sections of the public will be allowed to hold a mock debate in the chambers of Parliament this Friday.
Speaking at the function, Rev Christine Shimanya, the Parliament’s chaplain, condemned the growing level of corruption and proclaimed doom for all those involved in siphoning public Funds.
“Where do you get all the money, ministers where do you get all that money …you are stealing from government…even religious leaders, some of them have amassed wealth, I don’t know how but they know….big things, big cars and they are escorted all over the place,” she said.
Rev Shimanya said that such people were driven by evil spirits that will befall their fortunes.
She also warned leaders against clinging onto political positions justifying their longevity with what she referred to as “past glory.”
“You don’t want to leave but my friends you must leave…you can’t stay here forever …when you meet them, they are talking about we did this, we are the ones, we did this and that….my friends, do not live in past glory, you have to move on because every time God is changing, do not dwell in the past glory,” she cautioned.
During the five-day activities, Parliament will fundraise for the construction of a one-stop centre for the albino community while at the same time, raise funds to buy re-usable wsanitary towels for the girl-child in northern Uganda.
The speaker also toured stalls where different departments of parliament exhibited their work.