A number of former lawmakers met with Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, yesterday to seek financial assistance.
The group is chaired by former Attorney General, Mr Joseph Ekemu who also served as Attorney General during the earlier days of President Museveni’s reign. Mr Ekemu, represented Kaberamaido County in the NRC
Members of the lobying committee include Ms Beatrice Lagada (Apac, Mr Abura Kene Francis (Moroto) and Anthony Butele (Madi Okolo), Brani Angelo Dradriga (Ayivu) and Mr Othieno Akika Emmanuel former MP of West Budama South.
The former lawmakers confessed to the Speaker that they are financially constrained and need a new lease of life. Their request was presented by Mr Butele, himself a former cabinet minister form Karamoja
“We are requesting you to give us assistance in our welfare move forward,” Mr Butele said.
The members want the speaker to find them room to benefit from the parliamentary pension scheme and the Parliamentary Sacco, arguing that members of the earlier Parliament’s including the sixth assembly did not get chance to benefit from such institutions.
They also want the Speaker to secure the President’s ear for a possible recruitment in government offices, saying that they cannot find employment in the private sector.
“We are still able it perform our duties as senior citizens of this country we are still strong and although most of our members have died, we are still able,” Mr Butele said.
Life outside Parliament.
Mr Akika, the former MP for West Budama South and former minister of State for water served in the sixth Parliament. He narrated to journalists, his harsh experience with life after parliament, where one can hardy find employment.
“Having been a member of parliament you are used to being in certain circles, certain positions and offices and you do things differently,” he said.
He added that the MPs commit unknown atrocities to civil servants during their oversight roles and the time to payback is after parliament.
“Remember you challenge them to account for money allocated to them or produce money they have embezzled, in that process you step on many toes of heads of Parastatals so after Parliament you meet them in their boardrooms and surely you cannot succeed,” Mr Akika said.
He said that with the Parliamentary pension scheme, the members who never got chance to have such benefits can be factored in, with contributions from the government.
“We are not advocating for an outright pension now since we are not contributing financially, but some kind of lump sum, a one off will do in our case,” said Akika.
The Speaker said that she had already discussed the need to support former MPs with the president but the issue was yet to mature.
“There were a number of proposals and the problem is that the Pension Scheme is contributory yet government cannot contribute for those are out of Parliament,” said Kadaga.
She however stressed the need for honesty and responsibility while handling such initiatives for welfare.
She also said that members of the first Parliament, except Adoko Nekyon, the late Karyegyesa and Dr Lumu were given support of up to shs 30 million although the president wants the figure revised further to shs 100 million.