President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni last week appealed to the Parliamentary Commission to consider extending the payment of pensions and gratuities to include all the former MPs not just those of the 9th and 10th Parliament.
Museveni said this recently during the Golden Award Ceremony of 1162 MPs who served the country right from the 1st to the 9th Parliament when Uganda celebrated its golden Jubilee.
The President says the government cannot fail to look after 1,000 people who in the last 50 years made a contribution to the development of this country.
The appeal was made when one of the Golden Jubilee Medalists asked that as former legislators, Parliament considers also accompanying their awards with some token of appreciation in form of money.
Mathias Nsubuga, the former Bukoto South MP expressed the need for a resource envelop that can cater for families of former MPs most of whom cannot cater for themselves.
Another MP, Gilbert Oulanya, the Kilak County Member of Parliament did not also differ much saying that government needed to do more for these families either by either schooling their children than giving simply empty medals.
Meanwhile former Rubaga South MP, John Ken Lukyamuzi does not support attaching monetary value to the medal. Lukyamuzi was however, among the few opposition politicians who turned up to receive the medals.
He said boycotting the ceremony is meaningless and he received a medal not for President, Yoweri Museveni but for his own contribution to Uganda’s democratic struggle.
Some of the prominent opposition politicians including Dr. Kizza Besigye, wife Winnie Byanyima, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Party President Mugisha Muntu, Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Winfred Kiiza did not show up for the Golden Jubilee medal awarding ceremony.
Others are Democratic Party (DP) president and former Gulu Municipality MP Norbert Mao, former Mbarara Woman MP Miria Matembe, former Kampala Central MP Erias Lukwago and others.
The awarding occasion is provided for under the National Honours Award Act, 2001.
The medalists were read out by, General Elly Tumwine who is the Chairperson of the Presidential Awards Committee.
Museveni was later invited to decorate the medalists who were recognised for work done in building Uganda’s democracy.
However, Gen.Tumwine cautioned those who received the medals to handle them with care and put them on with pride since they remain a property of the republic of Uganda.
About 300 Members of Parliament since 1962 to 2012 did not pick their Golden Jubilee award medals, though 600 million shillings was injected in for their procurement and preparations to about 1400 beneficiaries.
Reports from the officials who were giving out invitation cards and identification tags to the beneficiaries of the medals say that most of the Opposition MPs shunned the awarding ceremony and hence causing wastage of funds used for making invitation cards, identification tags and booking eats they said.
The award is in recognition of the present and former MPs for their contribution to the democratization of the country and some of them missed the medals due to lack of transport facilitation especially to those who served in the first Parliaments.
The awarding ceremony held at Serena hotel on Monday and officiated by the President was attended by few opposition MPs because others did not want to associate with the President and prefer to pick them after without the President’s hand shake.
Among of those who boycotted the function include; the former Democratic Party President, Dr.Paul Kawanga Ssemwogerere,John Sebana Kizito ,Mukono Municipality MP, Betty Nambooze Bakireke ,Leader of Opposition Winfred Kiiza ,Kampala Central MP, Mohammed Nsereko , Erias Lukwago ,Bugweri County MP, Abdul Katuntu ,Soroti Woman MP, Angelina Ossege ,Lubaga North MP, Moses Kasibante ,Busiro South MP, Merdad Segona ,Masaka Municipality MP, Mathias Mpuga among others.
Others are the former FDC Leader, Dr.Kiiza Besigye’s wife Winnie Byanyima ,former Leader of Opposition, Wafula Oguttu and Latigo Ogenga ,Democratic Party President, Norbert Mao ,former Mbarara district MP, Maria Matembe among others.
The few opposition MPs who attended the function include the Kilak North MP, Gilbert Oulanya, Kasilo County MP, Elijah Okupa ,Lira district Woman MP, Joy Atim , Aswa County MP, Regan Okumu among others.