Uproar as Speaker Among, Magogo Spend Ugx600m Tax Payer’s Money on Leave in Nairobi


Recent revelations have shed light on the significant expenditure of Uganda's Parliament, as it was disclosed that nearly Shs 600 million was allocated to fund the holiday of Speaker Anita Among and her spouse, Moses Magogo.

According to leaked information, Parliament disbursed Shs 499 million to Speaker Among, who represents the Bukedea Woman MP constituency, while Budiope East lawmaker, Magogo, received Shs 49 million.

The transactions, dated January 29, 2024, are recorded in Parliament's files as 'payment of per diem (for both Among and Magogo) to Nairobi – Kenya for official leave.'

When reached for comment, Speaker Among responded to ChimpReports, stating: “Travelling with my spouse is my entitlement.”

However, reports have surfaced indicating that the couple did not travel to Nairobi for the intended annual leave. Sources have mentioned that Among's last official travel was in August of the previous year when she met with Pope Francis in Rome, Italy.

In response to claims of not traveling despite receiving substantial per diem amounts, Among dismissed the criticisms as coming from "haters."

This development raises eyebrows, especially as the government has been urging taxpayers to exercise financial restraint in the current challenging economic climate. Last year, President Museveni directed the government to halt foreign travel to prevent the wastage of public funds.

During the commissioning of facilities at the Uganda Petroleum Institute-Kigumba (UPIK) in March 2023, Museveni emphasized, "Tell the civil servants, the MPs and all politicians to stop travelling abroad. Money is wasted on external travel and here Kigumba is crying for money. This is really poor planning."

The Speaker of Parliament's office budget for the financial year 2024/25 stands at Shs 13.1 billion. Among's office also holds a significant budget for donations, amounting to Shs 2.4 billion. Additionally, her per diem rate is set at $4,000 per day, and she is entitled to 60 days of paid official leave abroad with her spouse annually.

Taxpayers cover the cost of business-class tickets for Among and her spouse, alongside paying the per diem rate for the duration of their official leave. The fuel budget for the Speaker is over Shs 800 million per annum.

Under the allocated budget, various expenses are detailed, including Shs 1 billion for adverts and public relations, Shs 70 million for workshops, Shs 495 million for staff training, Shs 547.2 million for welfare and entertainment, Shs 16.8 million for ICT services, Shs 9.6 million for property management, Shs 143.1 million for bedding, clothes, and footwear, Shs 1.34 billion for inland travel, and Shs 5.3 billion for travel abroad.

This substantial allocation of funds for official travel and related expenses for Speaker Among and her spouse comes at a time when fiscal prudence and judicious use of public resources are of utmost importance. It also highlights the need for transparency and accountability in the management of public funds.

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