Mabirizi takes Speaker Among and Mpuuga to Court Over Service Award

The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Anita Among, and five Commissioners of Parliament are currently facing legal action in the Anti-Corruption Court regarding a controversial service award they allegedly received. The commissioners, including Nyendo-Mukungwe MP Mathias Mpuuga, Bukooli County Central MP Solomon Silwany, Rubanda Woman MP Prossy Mbabazi Akampurira, and Zombo Woman MP Esther Afoyochan, are accused of unlawfully receiving significant sums of money.

Mr Mpuuga, previously the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, allegedly received Shs500m, while the other commissioners each received Shs400m. The charges against them include money laundering, theft, obtaining money by pretence, cheating, conspiracy to effect unlawful purpose, and conspiracy to defraud.

According to city lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi, who is privately prosecuting the case, the meeting held by the commissioners to approve the service award was unlawful and goes against the Constitution and the Administration of Parliament Act. He argues that the award should have been proposed by the government as a motion in Parliament for proper deliberation.

Mr Mabirizi accuses the group of using fraudulent tactics to conceal the illegality and criminality of the payment, citing the code-naming of the payment as a "one-time pay-off service award." He also points out that Mr Mpuuga, in a statement issued on March 1, 2024, defended the payment as lawful, which, according to Mr Mabirizi, constitutes money laundering.

One of the charges, Count Seven, alleges that the group conspired to defraud the public, Parliament, Consolidated Fund, and taxpayers of Shs1.7b through deceit and fraudulent means in May 2022.

Mr Mabirizi is seeking criminal summonses against the group to appear in court for the corruption charges and then be tried in the High Court. As of the last update, the case file was awaiting allocation to a judicial officer.

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