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Hon. Ssemujju and Katuntu Defend Speaker Budgets, Citing President Museveni’s Expenses


Hon. Ssemujju and Katuntu Defend Speaker Budgets, Citing President Museveni's Expenses
PHOTO — Parliament of Uganda Portal

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Hon. Ssemujju provided a lengthy and rational explanation in response to a direct question posed by a social media user regarding the allocation of 50 million. However, he notably avoided addressing the question (of whether MPs had received 50 Million each) directly.

Furthermore, both Ssemujju and Katuntu appear to imply that just because President Museveni is known for his extravagant spending, it somehow justifies similar expenditures by the Speaker. This line of reasoning suggests a flawed moral equivalence—essentially arguing that if one individual engages in excess, it excuses similar behavior by others. However, it’s crucial to note that the budget for the President is also subject to approval by the same Parliament that is now under scrutiny for allocating 40 million shillings to itself.

The decision to exclude the press from discussions regarding Parliament’s budget effectively shut out the very public that these legislators claim to represent. If the allocations being defended are truly justifiable, why are they handled in secrecy? Why treat them as if they are classified information?

The attempt by legislators to justify excessive spending by citing comparable wrongdoings and legality is disheartening. It raises questions about whether such practices should be normalized and accepted. Instead of upholding its role as an institution responsible for overseeing and holding other branches of government accountable, Parliament is using the transgressions of others to excuse its own.

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The institution tasked with ensuring transparency and accountability is now evading public scrutiny.

Opposition MPs, whose duty is to keep the government in check, seem either silent, hesitant, or engaged in defending their own questionable actions and financial irresponsibility.

This raises concerns about where these MPs will find the moral authority to demand accountability from entities such as Uganda Airlines, the Police, State House, NSSF, NWSC, UMEME, and others. How can they credibly address issues of theft or misuse of taxpayers’ money when they themselves are not willing to be held accountable? If they are unwilling to be transparent and answerable to the public, how can they expect it from others?

Points of Discussion Key Questions Raised
Hon. Ssemuju and Katuntu justify Speaker budgets by comparing them to President Museveni’s expenses. Does the spending of one public figure justify similar spending by another?
Parliament’s decision to exclude the press from budget discussions raises transparency concerns. Should budget discussions be conducted openly to ensure public accountability?
Legislators defending excessive spending by citing comparable wrongdoings and legality is criticized. Is it acceptable to justify misconduct by referencing similar actions by others?
Opposition MPs are scrutinized for their silence or defense of financial imprudence. How can MPs uphold their duty to hold the government accountable if they are not transparent about their own expenditures?

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