The Leader of Opposition in parliament, Hon Wafula Oguttu, says dirty money is destroying Uganda’s opposition.
Oguttu’s remarks come a day after the passing of the Constitutional Amendment Bill into law, in which himself boycotted by marching out.
Oguttu says he feels betrayed by some opposition MPs who voted to pass Bill that frustrates electoral reforms, the only chance for opposition to ever capture power.
Before the bill was passed, Oguttu had said that the opposition would not be party to illegalities but many opposing MPs instead stayed behind and voted to endorse it.
Early this year, a document called the Citizens Manifesto that agitated for electoral reforms by the opposition and civil society was tabled in the House.
Amongst the key reforms was to reconstitute the Electoral Commission because its compromised; many of these recommendations were ignored.
In the vote taken by roll call and tally, 290 MPs supported the Bill, while 33 mostly from the Opposition parties and Independents, voted against, four members abstained from the vote in the second reading.
At the Third Reading and actual passing of the Bill, 277 MPs supported the passing of the Bill; six MPs voted against, while one abstained-most opposition MPs turned around and voted yes to pass the bill.
Opposition chief whip, Cecilia Ogwal and Shadow Attorney-General, Abdu Katuntu, voted for the bill yet Oguttu said they had agreed not to.
Ogwal says whatever was passed in the bill, there was nothing that hurt the opposition and in anycase, Oguttu did not inform her on the march out.
Katuntu on the other hand, says walking out of parliament is not the best thing.
NRM bribed MPs
Ogutta says government must have bribed opposition MPs to pass the bill.
Addressing journalists at parliament yesterday, Oguttu said opposition parties will pronounce themselves on the next course of action, insisting that there have to be reforms before elections.
“Why did God create land, money, sex, power, ego and betrayal? These are the principal causes of conflicts among the people,” he wonders.
“We have been talking about dirty money in Parliament to influence MPs voting.”
He adds: “This time I saw it and even touched it as the lady MP sat strategically in the opposition lobby with a big hand bag full of bundles of Shs 50,000 notes. There must have been hundreds of millions.”
He said when asked why she was carrying so much money, the unnamed Lady said she was a business woman.
“I went back to the House where voting was taking place. Later I was told that some MPs were expecting some money for “voting wisely”.”
He adds: “I am yet to find out whether there was any connection. But the voting of some of my colleagues was mind boggling to me.”
According to Oguttu, The Democratic Alliance (TDA) will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday to chat a way forward following the exclusion of their proposed electoral reforms from the Constitutional Amendments Bill 2015.
The Democratic Alliance is a loose coalition of opposition political parties and civil society.