Musisi: MPs harass me, ask for bribes


Ms Musisi, consults a colleague during the committee hearing at Parliament in Kampala

Jennifer Musisi, the Executive Director of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has accused some Members of Parliament of blackmail.

Musisi disclosed this in a meeting between the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and different government accounting officers on their working relations with the committee.

She lamented how they are harassed by some legislators on the committee to pay them off so as to support them when they appear before various accountability committees.

“As accounting officers many times we’re subjected to demands allegedly coming from the various committees we’re [supposed] to appear before in Parliament where we are told to ‘facilitate’. That is the term they use. To ‘facilitate’ members before they or if we want them to approve a matter. Some of us actually want to go to heaven so we have not been succumbing to these demands. Otherwise I know people who are held at ransom by these demands. They are told if you don’t pay you will see what will happen when you come before the committee.”

Musisi didn’t give any specific names but said this has been going on for some time and must be addressed before it turns into a vice.

Pius Bigirimana, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development concurred with Musisi.

He said he was a victim of unfair judgment by some legislators during his tenure in the Office of the Prime Minister.

Bigirimana, who was implicated in a PAC report over diversion of billions of shillings under the Peace Recovery and Development Program (PRDP) in Northern Uganda, said the accusations were based on falsehoods.

He said legislators are intolerant to the defense of government officials when they appear before the committees and end up making wrong recommendations which could easily cost innocent people their jobs.

“I have been a victim – where instead of listening to what I was telling the PAC, they had already made their judgment. They don’t want to listen to any evidence being given and that is why if you look at the recommendations made on me and other officers, the recommendations are totally detached from the evidence given. You might think that the recommendations made were from one parliament and the evidence given was from another parliament. If you make such recommendations based on sentiments over evidence, how do we make

However, Alice Alaso, the chairperson of PAC defended the legislators.

She accused some of the accounting officers of trying to bribe MPs in order to alter reports implicating them.

Alaso advised them to focus on protecting taxpayers’ money through being transparent and accountable if such situations of bribery are to be avoided.

“I also wanted them to know from the word go; that we will not take bribes.”

Story by The Observer

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