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.