Statement on The Arrest of Dr. Hon. Twaha Kagabo For Exposing Corruption at Parliament
Recently, the country woke up to reports of a grand bribery scheme at the Parliament of Uganda out of which each Member of Parliament allegedly pocketed UGX 40M.
Apparently, the MPs were paid this money to ‘motivate’ them into irregularly passing a supplementary budget smuggled into Parliament just moments before the 2022/2023 budget reading.
The regime Spokesperson eventually confirmed these reports as true. Seeking to get to the bottom of the matter, we interacted with MPs from the National Unity Platform.
Some of them admitted and confessed to us that the Speaker of Parliament Ms. Annet Anita Among had personally handed over the money to them. They said that Ms. Anita Among had paid them the money in cash — probably to avoid leaving a paper trail — at her residence in Nakasero opposite the Court of Appeal.
We advised them to return it to her because anything short of that would be total betrayal of the voters who put them in office, and the values that NUP stands for. On Monday, one of the MPs Hon. Twaha Kagabo (Bukoto South) appeared on news bulletins admitting to have received the money and offering to return it.
It is upon that basis that yesterday, he was advised by the leader of our Parliamentary Team Rt. Hon. Matthias Mpuuga to return the money to Speaker Anita Among from whom he publicly confessed to have received it.
However, no sooner had he stepped out of the offices at Parliament heading to Speaker Among’s home than he was arrested by Parliamentary police who, then, handed him over to the Inspector General of Government to face charges of ‘extortion’.
The timing of Hon. Kagabo’s arrest is as suspicious as it is curious. It would not be far-fetched to say that by arresting Hon. Kagabo, the office of the IGG is being misused to unfairly shield Speaker Anita Among from public scrutiny and potential prosecution for corruption and abuse of office.
Under her vindictive leadership, the hallowed parliamentary building has been turned into a filthy temple of corruption and unabashed deal-cutting. Anybody who stands in Speaker Anita Among’s way is summarily dealt with either by the Parliamentary administration she heads or by other national institutions such as the police force.
When Hon. Zaake stood up to her, she mobilised and bought off some MPs to impeach him. Recently, parliamentary staff suspected of leaking details of the scam in which over UGX 2 BN was used to buy her a luxury vehicle were terminated from their jobs.
She is now using the IGG to persecute Hon. Kagabo for publicly disclosing her personal involvement in the UGX 40 M bribe scheme. How much longer should the Speaker continue getting away with this kind of impunity!?
We want you Hon. Twaha Kagabo to know that we stand with you at this your hour of great moral conflict. In the same breathe, we call out the office of the IGG for the bias it has shown so far in Hon. Kagabo’s matter.
The IGG, and any other interested authority, must investigate this issue with the fairness and impartiality it deserves.
Any accusation of corruption levelled against the Speaker of Parliament must be acknowledged and thoroughly investigated instead of persecuting the complainants. Speaker Anita Among is not above the law!