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Uganda: Makubuya, Bbumba Must Pay Back – DP

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Even when the initiative by legislators to force ministers Syda Bbumba and Khiddu Makubuya to resign or face censure over their alleged role in the Shs142b compensation to businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba is gathering pace in Parliament, the Democratic Party has said it will sue the duo unless they refund the money the country lost "with interest."

While addressing journalists at DP headquarters in Kampala yesterday, Kalungu East MP and DP Deputy Chief whip Joseph Gonzaga Ssewungu said forcing ministers who cause colossal financial loss to government to take personal responsibility for their actions will make the rest "more responsible" when handling public funds.

"This time around, it should not be business as usual. Even when they resign or get censured, Makubuya and Bbumba should refund this money with interest, or else we shall institute litigation against them," Mr Ssewungu said.

He said he doubted whether the ministers could have sanctioned such hefty compensations without the explicit "order from above."

"Instead of carrying a cross that is not theirs, we urge these ministers to come clean on this compensation," he added.

Mr Makubuya, the former attorney general and now minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, and Ms Bbumba, the former finance minister but now Gender Affairs Minister, are appearing before the Parliament's Public Accounts Committee for their alleged role in okaying colossal compensation to Mr Basajjabalaba as compensation for loss of business.

On teacher salaries

Meanwhile, Mr Ssewungu said government should agree to the 100 per cent salary increment demands by both primary and secondary school teachers before the opening of the new school term.

He said the 15 per cent increment promised by President Museveni in his New Year's Day address is "small."

"This country has enough resources to handsomely pay its teachers if it got its priorities right," he said, adding: "But you instead hear government squandering Shs1.4b to advertise and rank private schools."

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