Members of Parliament from Karamoja region, stormed out of a workshop on Saturday following a disagreement over their participation allowances.
The one-day workshop at Mt. Moroto Hotel was organized by the Ministry of Finance, the Rural Financial Services Program and Uganda Cooperative Savings and Credit Union. The meeting was intended to update the MPs about the progress of the Prosperity for All program and how they could mobilize people to support it.
The workshop however degenerated into a row over allowances.
The MPs were given 330,000 shillings as facilitation for their fuel. But the MPs rejected the money on grounds that it was too small and far below their 800,000 shillings expectations. They argued that the organisers should have also considered their per diem and accomodation allowances.
The MPs who rejected the money given to them are Abraham Loki the Jie County MP, Samuel Ogwel of Moroto Municipality, Abura Piriri of Matheniko and Francis Kiyonga, the representative for Pokot. They said they would not accept anything less than 800,000 shillnigs.
Loki accused the Communications Officer of the Rural Finance Program, Yusuf Giduno, of duping the parliamentarians into attending the workshop. He claimed that in previous communication with Giduno, the communications officer had made it clear that he would pay 800,000 shillings to each MP that attended the workshop.
Loki said that as an MP he deserved to be paid what he was worth.
The Member of Parliament for Moroto Municipality, Samuel Ogwel, said he could not be expected to travel to Moroto from Kampala and back again for just 330,000 shillings. He said the MPs had the right to reject the money because they were the people on the ground lobbying for support of government programs.
After a heated argument, Yusuf Giduno agreed to raise the allowances to 530,000 shillings for each MP. The parliamentarians begrudgingly took the money.
Giduno said the MPs were invited to Moroto to share ideas on how to promote savings and credit organizations in Karamoja. He said he did not handle any issues to do with their payment and was disappointed by the way they acted.